Digital stations: how did we digitize 30 railway stations in 2 years?

Two years ago Navigine became a part of a highly experienced team, who worked for a tremendous project, the main idea of which was an implementation of a mobile navigation system in railway stations. Starting with the 9 largest transport hubs, a customer, the most significant and biggest railway operator in one of the European countries, decided to extend this practice to at least 20 other stations. We are going to digitize even more objects this year!

How did we win this contract?

The most frequently asked question about this railway project is “How did a small technological company get a chance to be a partner of a huge corporation?” It is easy: we know a few life hacks :) We prefer to work through an integrator, a company with diverse professional experience, extensive portfolio and a wide network of connections. This approach provides a solution for at least three important startups’ problems:

  • Secondly, integrators take the majority of financial risks. It is difficult for a small company to wait for money for 1 year because startups have to grow dynamically. While some months without revenue could lead to death for a small business, such delay is not crucial for a solid company.
  • And finally, integrators can meet all requirements of the corporation, including a lot of formal conditions, such as an age of the company, dozens of similar projects in the portfolio, a number of employees, financial stability and etc.

In two worlds: how we installed BLE-beacons and created a navigation system

Navigation systems today are a smart mix of software and hardware. They require installation of BLE-beacons offline and the development of a digital map with positioning functions. This was the first challenge of this project.

For foreigners

Partners launched this brand-new mobile app before the World Football Championship 2018, and it assisted a lot of tourists from throughout the world in indoor navigation inside the railway stations in Russia. Thousands of people benefited from mobile-navigation and mobile booking system which reduced the time spent on wayfinding. How? The most common navigation tools in modern railway stations are signs. But it is impossible to place so many sings inside a station building. There are just too many languages and facilities. Unlike offline navigation instruments, limited in space, the mobile-enabled system is unlimited. The latter provides much more useful information.

Not for passengers alone

More and more logistics hubs embrace the values and benefits of indoor navigation. A lot of airports throughout the world already have their own mobile apps, and some of them are even integrated into popular services such as Google.Maps. Вoth Berlin airports (Tegel and Schönefeld) are an example. Similar technology is used by Penn Station, one of the largest and important transport hubs in New York. The main idea of every navigation services is assistance for passengers in finding the most appropriate route from A to B.

Marketing associate at Navigine.com — Integrated software platform for precise indoor and outdoor positioning.