In the current process it takes passengers a long time to find and provide their tickets to inspectors, who then validate them via a visual check. The ticket validation process could be improved in several areas.
To reduce validation time, manual effort and error-rate, a solution was created that expedites and automates the retrieval and validation of digital tickets.
Our approach offers passengers an option to have their tickets displayed on their phone automatically upon ticket validation. Inspectors are supported with a way to validate tickets electronically. The solution gives both passengers and inspectors full awareness of the validation process while allowing passengers to use the parts of the solution they are comfortable with.
Solution components & technologies
QuickTick consists of the following solution components:
Bluetooth-Low-Energy is a wireless technology that transmits data over short distances through radio waves. A BLE-beacon is a device or application which broadcasts programmed information that can be received by other devices. Beacons are programmed in various protocols e.g., iBeacon [Apple] or AltBeacon [Android]. The distance at which a signal is broadcasted can be set programmatically. Therefore, it is possible to notify only users at close distance. All standard mobile phones offer BLE support and can send and receive BLE signals.
Passes allow easy management of users’ passes or tickets. Passes can appear on phones based on certain criteria.
Passes display user accounts, through which ticket data can be queried. Tickets are connected to accounts when bought. They can be accessed easily and fast from a user's phone (notification, wallet, hotkey) and from within a mobile-app like Wien Mobil. A pass management server needs to be set up for a productive solution to create, distribute and update passengers’ passes.
Time-based characteristics may be added to the displayed QR-code in a pass to prevent pass-sharing. A pass can be created in a unique appearance and configured to display or hide certain information from the user.
A QR-code is a matrix barcode readable by smartphones containing certain information and can be printed on paper, plastic or be shown within mobile passes or mobile-apps. It contains certain information which is provided at time of code-generation. A code-reading device or a camera on a phone can be used to read a QR code and extract the contained information. QR-codes can be included in mobile passes in various formats and be updated (on the client devices) by a pass management server. Manual input can be used as a fallback procedure if a QR-code can not be read due to technical difficulties.
There are various approaches that can be used to hinder sharing of passes/ tickets and improving application security at the same time:
The way the prototype works:
Our solution reduces the validation-process steps and the total validation time: