NXP Semiconductors announced that its contactless microcontroller has been chosen by the Russian city of Sochi hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics to power the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system of its ground transportation network. This will be the first rollout of controller in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Working with partners including the solution provider and equipment manufacturer Strikh-M, inlay manufacturer SMARTRAC and card manufacturer Novacard, the project, which is currently in the pilot phase, will offer all the benefits associated with a contactless AFC to both passenger and transport operator alike.
Serving Sochi's population of 500,000 residents and one million tourists annually, the NXP systems will help improve the overall passenger experience and drive operational efficiencies. Eliminating the need for cash, passengers will be able to purchase and fill up contactless travel cards and season tickets at the automatic smart-card payment terminals, speeding up passenger embarkation.
“This is a significant project for NXP, Strikh-M and the other partners involved in this project and serves as a role model for other similar projects in the region. We are confident that all residents of Sochi will benefit from this contactless solution and that it will enable the city to prepare for the upcoming Olympics,” said Henri Ardevol, GM of Secure Transactions, NXP Semiconductors. The project is an essential part of Sochi's preparation for building a highly secure AFC system for the Olympic Games. At present, the city expects to receive about 400,000 additional visitors to the city during February 2014, and the AFC system will enable the local transport operator to scale up for the larger number of passengers it will be required to carry.
“Moving to a contactless-based AFC system offers a huge number of benefits. Offering a 100-percent contactless system eliminates the need for our passengers to search through pockets for change, as the fare will be automatically deducted from their smartcard. In addition, the contactless AFC will allow the city government to better manage regular and discounted fares, while also eliminating potential misuse and unapproved tariff changes. As a result, the quality of transportation service will increase, the time spent queuing to board the bus is reduced and the overall passenger experience is improved,” said Alexey Smaglyuk, Director of the Transport and Communication Department, Sochi City Administration.