DB Sylt is Curbing Congestion with MOBOTIX Technology

As a part of Deutsche Bahn Long Distance, DB Sylt Shuttle provides the main connection to the island. Employing approximately 200 people and additional seasonal staff, DB Sylt Shuttle is a complete infrastructure provider: In addition to its trains, the DB service is also responsible for maintaining the terminals. DB Sylt Shuttle operates 13,000 car train services between Niebüll and Sylt every year.

Challenges – Channeling the Flood of Visitors 

The North Sea island of Sylt has always been a popular tourist destination. It even attracts a large number of visitors outside of peak season in summer. This especially leads to a huge amount of travel activity due to tourists coming and going as part of the weekend changeover. Customers without reservations have to queue at the entrance to the terminals, creating traffic jams. Another challenge for DB Sylt is that the existing terminal space has been divided between two companies, which has created a need to adapt the way the space is used. The objective was to streamline processes and speed up throughput times. 

Solution – Automatization Without Automatons

A preliminary investigation was launched to find out where travelers were losing the most time. The sales process and boarding the car train turned out to be critical points. Therefore, an online shop in which customers input their license plate was established, meaning that admission can now be controlled automatically using cameras and license plate recognition. As soon as travelers arrive at the terminal, the barrier is opened and their ticket is automatically validated. This solution is particularly attractive and convenient for frequent users, and ensures greater satisfaction and strong customer loyalty. In addition, three webcams have been installed. These allow the length of the queue at the entrance to be quickly assessed in advance. On peak days, approximately 2500 vehicles are transported on the train.

Conclusion – Convenience Keeps Coming

The straightforward and prompt handling of vehicles has significantly increased customer satisfaction. Ticket- and contact-free travel has truly caught on — travelers no longer have to deal with inconvenient automatic ticket machines. What’s more, the process has had a positive effect on the public transport, thanks to a reduction in congestion.

License plate recognition via the VALEO IT „CAR-READER Reader stations currently functions as a server/client solution. However, work is currently being carried out to move the solution to an app for cameras from the MOBOTIX 7 generation. In addition, automated height, length and weight measurement will become a central topic over the course of the terminal’s expansion. Plans are also underway to see how this can be implemented using intelligent camera technology.

Thanks to the reliable automation of our vehicle check-in, we have been able to win over our customers. This convenient system sets us apart from our competitors. Thanks to short throughput times, this solution is effective, saves money and is environmentally friendly. Less congestion also takes the strain off of the surrounding roads. This has been a great success on all fronts.

Arndt Lorenzen, DB Sylt Shuttle