Dr M & Friends / smarTicket

the smart way to travel

No more need to run to the next ticket machine to catch your train/bus/tram. smarTicket is your automatic ticket for public transport.



  • Rolf Lussi
  • Dominic Mösch
  • Valentin Schlatter
  • Amin Mazloumian
  • Tobias Kammacher

Team name: Dr M. & Friends

Project Description - Automatic Ticketing System

Automatic Location over GPS or LPN

The low power network from Swisscom does not yet, but will eventually allow to locate the devices. Therefore it will be possible to locate the device with every sent message. Since this feature is not yet implemented we can make a first approach with GPS. GPS will not be as power effective as LPN but provides the higher precision.

Project Idea

The idea is to analyse the GPS coordinates of the train and the coordinates of the passenger. With the GPS coordinates and the time it is possible to check if a passenger is travelling with the train or not. The passenger doesn't have to take any action besides carrying the LPN module.

As example the image below. It shows the bus and a passenger. The bus is going from station to station. The tracker shows the exact way, timing and therefore also the speed the bus is travelling with. The passenger takes the bus at the first stop. From this point on it will travel with the same speed, the same way and the same timing as the bus. Therefore it is possible to automatically conclude if a passenger is in the bus or travelling by foot or a private car. The system will see that the passenger got on the bus in the first stop and stays for a few stops before leaving the bus again. With this information the system can automatically purchase the perfect ticket and charge the passenger. So in this case it the passenger charged for the 6 stops he took by bus.


The main challenge is to be able to provide a reliable tracking of the passenger and the train/bus. The tracking for the bus is not that critical. It can use GPS since Power is no problem. The tracking for the passenger will be more challenging. So should it use as little energy as possible. Therefore reduce the sending of tracking information to a minimum.

The second big challenge is to analyse the tracking information, to be able to generate the trajectories and find the overlapping areas.

The other challenges are the reliability of the system. How easy it is to cheat or misuse the system on both sides. But this are more theoretical questions, since we won't be able to answer them in the limited time.

So therefore the main milestones will be:

  • GPS Tracker with LPN module
  • GPS Tracker on Smartphone for reference and additional measurements
  • Handling the data with the swisscom cloud
  • Process the data and determine the used public transport out of the tracking data
  • A simple app for showing the transportation costs
  • Implement measures to minimize energy consumption

What works at Project conclusion (8.11.2015 / 09:00)

  • smarTicket based on LoRa Devkit
    • Get GPS coordinates from attached module
    • Sends coordinates to LoRa gateway
    • Low-Power mode using accelerometer and GPS (when there is no movement and no change in coordinates, go into power saving mode)
  • Data analysis on App Cloud
    • Python based data acquisition from smarTicket and tram
    • Store Timestamps&Coordinates in database
    • Recognize tram lines used by passenger based on location data of (tram & passenger & stations)
    • Small set of tram stations on line 4 with location data
    • Project website shows last trip
  • Output passenger data to smartphone app
    • Last stations that were registered by smarTicket
  • Emulation of real time tram location with separate smartphone app

Measurement Results

A first measurement was conducted on Saturday (7.11.) evening with the working prototype of smarTicket and an additional smartphone. The captured measurement data is shown in the map image below.

  • Blue: Tram / emulated with smartphone app, sending GPS coordinates to our server via 3G
  • Red: Passenger / smarTicket prototype, sending GPS coordinates to our server via LoRa

The following image shows the analysis of the distance between passenger and bus. All timestamps below a certain threshold describe data sets where the passenger was on board of the tram. For this calculation the location and time of the passenger and the tram were used. In a later step the data was correlated to the known stations.

The image below shows the screen of the smarTicket iOS app after it has received travel information from the app cloud. The information was originally captured by the smarTicket and uploaded to the app cloud via LoRa.


  • Location data can be used for many purposes
    • Billing (automatic ticketing) - interesting for tourists and people that dont have complete subscriptions (e.g. GA)
    • Location-based Customer information/guidance
      • via smartphone app
      • or directly via smartTicket (see below)
    • Live-Monitoring of traffic flow in public transport (find bottlenecks, detect traffic disruptions early, ..)
  • Customer feedback can be improved
    • Low-power display (e.g. e-ink)

Project homepage » Source code

Last update: 2015-11-07
Maintained by: kamm

Launched at IoT Hackathon « all projects