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/ Reading: 4 min.

31. Jan 2024
/ Germany
Navigation on the bus: How does the bus know where to go? ioki Route App
Anyone who has ever been in a foreign city, or who wants to get from A to B quickly in their own hometown, knows this: Just open a navigation app like Google Maps or Apple Maps, enter your starting point and destination, and off you go. If a road or footpath is closed, the apps will show you alternative routes. This is not so easy on a public bus, where you have to think about the dimensions of the bus and the stops, as well as the passengers. But how does it work on a scheduled bus route? How do the drivers know where the bus is going and, above all, what happens when roadworks block the regular route?

We also asked ourselves this question and the result is ioki Route. The latest addition to the ioki product family, consisting of a navigation application and a route management application, has been developed for the specific requirements of scheduled bus operations. All digital and in real time. Because what sounds like an individual case actually happens quite frequently:  

  • Double-decker buses that get stuck under underpasses because the driver has deviated from the route,  
  • Buses that fail to stop because the driver doesn’t (yet) know the route very well, or because stops have been re-routed because of roadworks,  
  • Spontaneous changes to the route because an accident or bad weather makes it necessary, etc.

In this blog post, we’ll focus on the navigation app for bus drivers, ioki Route App. In addition to the navigation app for bus drivers, ioki Route also includes an administration tool for the route management (ioki Route Control). We will introduce that in another blog post. 

From our on-demand transport operations, we know how important it is that drivers can operate the app easily. Our UX designers travelled on a public transport bus and accompanied bus drivers in their daily work to design the ioki Route App. The result is an easy-to-use app that bus drivers can use from day one. Download the ioki Route App, connect to the local route database, select the bus type and route, and you’re ready to go. What do you need? Just an Android smartphone! 

ioki Route App

The ioki Route App is based on the navigation apps that you know from your private life: Arrows on the smartphone screen show the direction and a voice guides the driver. This is an important point for operational planning, because until now, personnel could only be deployed on routes where the drivers had previously undergone intensive training. This means that the more lines and routes a transport company operates, the more training is required. With ioki Route, detailed knowledge of the area and routes is no longer necessary. The app takes over the navigation and automatically warns the driver of danger spots, such as bottlenecks or low bridges. This becomes all the more important when, for example, a bus driver has to stand in for a colleague who is ill, or the traffic management has to adapt the route at very short notice. ioki Route is not limited to classic scheduled bus services but is also explicitly suitable for rail replacement services or emergency bus services, where it is important to set up and operate temporary routes quickly. 

With ioki Route, communication between drivers and traffic control becomes easier, faster and, above all, more digital. Training times are reduced. The app also ensures that drivers can be deployed more flexibly where they are urgently needed. This gives employees and transport companies more flexibility in planning their workforce. A driver-friendly organisation increases the satisfaction and attractiveness of the profession. After all, bus drivers are the backbone of attractive, climate-friendly and sustainable public transport! 

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