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E-business: Traffic jam buster goes live for city shoppers.

Byline: John Revill

Shoppers at Birmingham's Bullring centre can benefit from the latest technology to reduce stress and congestion on their journey home.

Visitors will be able to avoid the worst of the Midland's traffic using information provided by M3's traffic information system MATTISSE.

A series of 22 kiosks and two large screens has been set up around the centre to give the most up to date traffic information.

The system, developed by M3 a partnership between Marconi and Mott MacDonald, gathers data from a range of roadside sensors, urban traffic control centres, public transport databases and police command and control centres.

At present the in-centre information is limited to rail times, but plans are afoot to include road information.

While at centre, shoppers can also view live train arrival and departure feeds for nearby rail stations by using kiosks located throughout the centre.

All MATTISSE's information is updated in real time taking into account any changes to timetables, delays or cancellations.

The MATTISSE Bullring project has been implemented by M3 working with Comgenic, a software company whose suite of applications is designed specifically to improve communication in shopping centres and retail markets.

Laura Hey of Comgenic said: 'MATTISSE will play an important role in enhancing the shopping experience in the new Bullring, 'The MATTISSE data feed provides live information about train arrivals and departures to shoppers within the retail environment.

'It supplies this information through channels that shoppers are now using more frequently to improve their retail experience, such as kiosks and wall-mounted plasma screens.

'This information not only enables them to meet friends and family on time and in the right location, it also reduces waiting times in train stations, providing shoppers with a relevant and useful service that will hopefully encourage the use public transport.'

M3 plans to make MATTISSE information available via the Internet, on street information kiosks, mobile phones and on interactive public telephones.

Garrett O'Connor, M3 business manager, said: 'MATTISSE's data is of great value to the Midlands public as it helps them travel safely and efficiently.

'Our new Bullring Centre application is a prime example of the innovative methods that M3 is using to improve the use of MATTISSE information in the Midlands.

'It helps people to plan their time more effectively.

' Instead of waiting around for half an hour for a train, laden down with shopping bags, this helps them plan their time more effectively.'

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The MATTISSE system in use at Bullring, Birmingham
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 13, 2004
Words:413
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