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The ‘Make in India’ PUBBS is a healthy public transportation mode

The ‘Make in India’ PUBBS is a healthy public transportation mode

India’s public transportation system is getting increasingly re-shaped in more ways than one. We also have software that enables real time prediction of travel demand and travel time along a bus route at different time periods on any given day. The software was essentially designed to reduce operation costs of all buses for each trip from every terminal while improving passenger comfort. And now there is the fourth generation “Make in India” Public Bicycle Sharing system (PUBBS), including a smart electro-mechanical IOT module for locking bicycles and its software. Integrated hardware, software and firmware development for a fully automatic bicycle lock and a cloud-based sharing system is freely available on a subscription basis so that the system can be setup by private individuals without specialized equipment and personnel. It is funded by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs through Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP). Another benefit of the earlier innovative solution was that it was offering real time information on bus location, passenger load inside vehicles, level of crowding for the operators.

And the latest one, the one in the pilot stage, promises to a provider of a product-service system for enabling a smart and hassle-free public bicycle sharing system. If things work as planned, this will come with GSM/GPRS/GPS manual lock, which features GSM/GPS/communication; GPS location tracking; theft detection; energy efficient hardware design; enhanced battery life, efficient locking and unlocking with robotic hardware driver; energy efficient hardware design; enhanced battery life; BLE semi-automatic that also offers BLE Communication; updates circuit and battery protection; energy efficient hardware design; enhanced battery life; BLE auto lock, that also has location and operations tracking from user device update circuit and battery protection; efficient locking and unlocking with robotic hardware driver besides enhancing battery life. Interestingly, multiple variants of the product are being created, including Bluetooth-based, GSM-GPS based, semi-automatic and fully-automatic. These innovations provide one with a plethora of safety options. Suffice to say that the product offers extensive customization choices, which will be dependent on specific product and operator requirements.

An added bonus is that the product enhances last mile connectivity, reduces travel time and greenhouse gas emissions to significant levels, which, in itself, is a good augury. It has the potential to promote entrepreneurship where the rental/sharing system can be deployed using cloud-based services even with bare minimum technical knowhow. The concerned department at the IIT-KGP is already working on a separate project proposal. This will be prepared after a successful piloting and only then deployed on a commercial basis. The ‘PUBBS: 4th Generation Public Bicycle Sharing Systems’, will certainly have a huge positive impact on environmental aspects, by way of fuel saving and decarbonization. It would not be wrong to presume that the new mode of affordable public and private transportation will go down well with the people, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. Of course, green crusaders and environmentalists will call for its patronisation on a large-scale.

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