Tramway building sites send updates

For the duration of rest of 2018, the Tampere tramway building sites will experiment with using Bluetooth beacons to send nearby smartphones information about the progression of the construction work and possible traffic disruptions caused by it.

The City of Tampere is locally sharing information about the tramway building sites by using Bluetooth beacons. The purpose of the experiment is to test out new technology in offering city guidance and regional information sharing services. For example, a passenger on a bus can use their own smartphone to check the status of the nearby building site.

– Due to multiple ongoing construction projects, such as the tramway and the Central Deck and Arena project, the traffic arrangements in the Tampere city centre are undergoing particularly frequent changes this year. The beacons provide one way of keeping citizens up to date on the progression of the construction work and giving them information about the final results. We are doing everything we can to make it easier to move around in the city centre, says Mikko Nurminen, Executive Director of Urban Environment and Infrastructure Services of the City of Tampere.

The beacons, which are about the size of a matchbox, send out information to the nearby area about traffic changes caused by the tramway construction, as well as the progression of the construction work. The building sites are divided into four sectors, and the recipient is given information concerning the sector they are currently in.

The mobile devices within the beacon’s range receive a silent notification, which does not vibrate or play a sound alert. When the recipient opens the notification, they are redirected to a web application which provides general information, news and social media content created by the Tramway Alliance. The web application also lets you interact with an endearing feedback bot and give feedback on the tramway building sites.

The smartphone will be able to find the beacon’s signal as long as the Nearby and Bluetooth functions are enabled. Nearby works on all mobile devices. Android devices come with a pre-installed Nearby function. For other devices, you can download a free Nearby application of your choice from an app store. The locations of the beacons are denoted with identifiers shown below them, so that the user may turn on Bluetooth and Nearby if they wish to receive information.

The beacon test is a part of The Six City Strategy: City Guidance Ecosystem project by the Smart Tampere programme of the City of Tampere, and were created in cooperation with the Tramway Alliance. The beacon experiment is one of the City of Tampere’s experiments to create better services using technology. The beacons and the web application are produced by Globeon Ltd.

Photo: Pirkko Laitinen/City of Tampere