Transportation: A moving target of opportunity

Robust technologies in transit, airports, rails, highways and other infrastructures signal jobs for systems integrators

'Intermodal hubs' is the new buzzword in airway transportation as airports serve as the location of choice for these central station 'hubs' where people go for a variety of choices in ground transportation. But while some may see such centers as the next logical step in tying these transportation modes together, others are skeptical as to its presence in airports, questioning whether airports have the funding or interest to take on such massive projects or the capabilities to integrate all these different solutions. Still, deployments of these hubs in California, Oregon, Florida are evidence that the need for such solutions exists.

"Too many times in the past, the modes of transportation systems have been siloed," explained Martinko. "Water improved their structure, airports had their projects, surface transportation had their piece, but you have to connect those modes, especially between rail and water as they are internal to a city or a county."
Other similar technologies being implemented in airports include video surveillance (cameras at a security checkpoint), access control, LCD video monitors and software that provided situational management.

"Any of these systems in a seaport or in an airport are going to be very large camera systems, and once you go to an IP-based system, it makes it much easier and cost-effective for an airport to add cameras in specific areas where they might need them," explained Tony Olan, account executive, Johnson Controls, Charlotte, N.C.

Transit opportunities for the future

Although the transportation market can be tough to navigate, their future is definitely based on new technologies and the systems integrator who is up on them can help. The age of siloed systems is over as the transportation market begins to embrace a true intermodal approach. Systems integrators need to understand state and federal processes and polish their approach and knowledge of technologies to provide end-users with suitable integrated solutions.


A fifth mode of transportation may be overlooked. When we think of transportation, we think of the four main modes that we typically are accustomed to-water, air, rail and ground transportation. The pipeline system makes up the last piece to the puzzle. Pipelines are the mode of transportation for natural services including oil, ethanol and other material. This mode requires security to forewarn and prevent against certain environmental risks including hazardous spills.