As Rio gets ready for the biggest sporting event on Earth, it is vital for athletes and spectators to get to where they need to go without delay. To make sure that nobody misses the bang of the starting pistol, an app has been created for the event’s fleet of drivers, offering detailed, up-to-date maps of the city and arenas, powered by HERE.
In August, sporting events will take place across 33 venues in four different regions of one of the most vibrant cities in the world, and in five other states.
The event has a 5,000-strong fleet of drivers catering to three different levels – VIPs, volunteers, and athletes. In order to successfully cater to this huge number of people, drivers required an app with the most up-to-date, accurate maps. This is where HERE and MTM Tecnologia came in.
A race against time
For athletes and spectators to efficiently transfer between destinations, the fleet of drivers at the event, all of whom are volunteers, required navigation systems that could be relied upon to provide the most accurate maps and data.
The time-frame to provide this was limited – in only six months, maps for Rio, including its districts Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Maracanã and Deodoro, plus ten other cities had to be updated, while a huge number of POIs also had to be updated or added. Indeed, this was a sprint, rather than a marathon.
During this time, the HERE team in Brazil have been working with MTM Tecnologia to develop a navigation app which drivers can rely upon, with more than 14,000 POIs added or updated across 20 categories including restaurants, hotels, ATMs, tourist attractions and nightlife.
Important Rio neighbourhoods, beaches and hotspots were re-driven, while nearby cities and tourist destinations have undergone maintenance activities so that the map is up-to-date with all the new roads, turn-by-turn attribution and points of interest.
The updated maps include the recently built VIP lanes, while important venue information is also accessible via the app.
For the organisers, the athletes and the 480,000 tourists who are predicted to flock to Rio in time for the biggest event in the sporting calendar, the importance of a smooth-running, efficient transport fleet cannot be overstated. It is HERE and MTM’s goal to ensure that this is one less hurdle to jump.
Hurdles to overcome
The app uses Mobile Asset Management (MAM) Advanced Routing from HERE to schedule and route the fleet to transfer VIPs, volunteers, and athletes, with the HERE Mobile SDK forming the core of a bespoke application which will provide real-time navigation to support the smooth running of the games. The app will be run on Samsung Galaxy J3 tablets fitted in every vehicle.
The challenges that faced the team, including a short time-frame and Rio’s ever-changing road network, were plentiful. Perhaps most pressing was the impact that the surrounding mountains would have on users of the app. Because of these mountains, internet access can drop-out or be restricted, with some areas more badly affected than others.
Of course, a navigation app is only useful if it works during the entire route, so in order to address the issue of network coverage HERE and MTM developed a hybrid app – one that works both online and offline, similar to HERE Maps.
In order for this to work, the map data sits inside the devices provided to drivers, while online features such as real-time traffic and transit are still accessible when connected. The app allows driver routes to be planned in advance, taking into account historic data on traffic flows on given roads, while also providing comprehensive, real-time intelligence that will allow organisers to manage their fleet efficiently and responsively.
Crossing the finish line
While the world awaits the start of this iconic sporting event, HERE and MTM have been hard at work so that Rio’s transport fleet is worthy of cheers of triumph.
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