Students use GeoBase to save the planet


Could a Taxibus system revolutionize public transport?

Technology is a powerful force in the world today, and like any power can be used for good or evil. A group of aspiring students, known as Team Phoenix, played their part in helping save the world using technology by developing a Taxibus system to promote more efficient and convenient city commuting.

Conveniently it was all part of the Imagine Cup held in France in 2008, promoted by Microsoft as an opportunity for young programmers to showcase ways technology can be used to help build sustainable environments.

The tag line on their homepage, “Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment”, was testament to their keen desire to use the power of advancing GPS technology to promote environmental goals and the Imagine Cup provided the ideal vehicle (pun intended) to reach this objective.

Taxibus – Public transport for the 21st century

The Taxibus system was created to combine the environmental-friendliness of a bus with the convenience of a car. The car is dynamically routed to collect passengers in the most efficient way, based on their destination and current location.
The only GIS product that could visually simulate the dynamic routing that the Taxibus system needed, and do it in a “straightforward manner”, was Telogis GeoBase. GeoBase is a GIS mapping engine from Telogis, a software company that specializes in location intelligence.

Telogis GeoBase and Green Fleets – A perfect combination

Telogis GeoBase, as a route planning tool, is the perfect solution to minimizing miles covered, and thus promoting green fleets. The Taxibus idea was built on the concept of moving more people more efficiently and smart routing that could recalculate on the fly was pivotal to its success.

Green fleeting, or eco-trucking, is gaining popularity with smart, environmentally-conscious companies who realize their vehicle fleets are a large contributor to the growing problem of carbon emissions, and thus global warming. With growing public pressure and a need to reduce the dependence on finite fossil fuels, fleets are looking to technology to minimize the size of their carbon footprint.

Even fleets that drag their feet reluctantly are being pleasantly surprised when they discover that reducing their carbon footprint is being rewarded with another kind of green – real dollar savings. In fact, Telogis have found that, in most cases, users of their fleet management software, recover the cost of upgrading and optimizing their fleet within about 90 – 120 days.

Spreading the green message

There is no question that awareness of environmental issues is growing and is becoming a greater factor in decisions made by both individuals and corporate. Awareness is vital to promote change simply because, while many are keen to help save the planet, they don’t always know practical, workable ways to do that.

Campaigns to educate the wider public on green issues come in many forms, including a creative effort by Team Phoenix to advertise the ecological (and other!) benefits of a routing system like Taxibus. These campaigns are becoming the catalyst for change, and more corporate, non-profit organizations and government departments are realizing the need to operate in a way that is more sustainable, both economically and environmentally. In fact, awards are now given to government agencies around North America that are taking action to improve their efficiency.

Is it time to green your fleet?

If you’re a fleet owner, obviously you want to be running efficiently, but now you might be thinking that you should be considering ways you can help save the planet. Actually, the two goals are not mutually exclusive – you can do both. Telogis show clearly how using an effective fleet management solution can help you to become the next green fleet and save you green in the process.

Reduce fleet miles

Leave a Reply