Case Studies

Mobile Experience | Transportation




Smarte Haltestelle




At a Glance

Bridging the Analog and the Digital to Grant Travelers Access to Real-Time Departures

Waiting for the bus to arrive can be unsettling. VVS, the public transport association for the Stuttgart metropolitan area, has made an effort to digitize their physical infrastructure to improve the experience. Currently, about one-quarter of the 4000 stops are equipped with digital displays to inform passengers about delays. VVS approached us to make real-time data accessible for all travellers at every single stop. We made use of emerging technologies to show departure boards on your phone with ease – enriched with an environmental map and weather metadata. zigzag not only mapped out the mobile product strategy and created the concept but also helped to design and fully develop the application itself.


Our Process

Develop, Test and Iterate

We were combining augmented reality with text recognition for our custom algorithm. First, the stop sign gets detected using the camera and AR capabilities of the phone. Then the text is extracted and normalized to determine the station name and the direction of the line. The algorithm has been optimized continuously by evaluating the statistics – we scanned about 3000 signs during the test period. The results keep improving because user-generated content gets added to the database and analyzed there.



How to use emerging technologies to fulfill the needs of commuters and all other types of passengers

The app marks the beginning of the new generation of digital products for VVS by embracing new technologies. After a phase of conception and design, followed by extensive testing from zigzag and the VVS team, we launched the app in April 2020. ‘Smarte Haltestelle’ is available both for Android and iOS. We were pleased to learn the app was well-received by passengers because of its simplicity. Here we’d like to walk you through some highlights.


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