Davra Networks: Connecting Buses from Dublin to the Rio Olympics

For centuries, Dublin has created success and wealth based on its skills in transportation.

Long after the Vikings in the 9th century helped establish “Dublinia” as a thriving port, the Irish have emerged as skilled connectors and movers of people and things. It is in our blood, a statement as true for Paul Glynn, CEO of Davra Networks. Glynn and Davra are now helping bring prosperity to Dublin via a humble mode of transportation: the bus.

A Dub to the core, Glynn set up Davra Networks in 2011 in the heart of Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre. “Davra Networks has an IoT (Internet of Things) platform that can be installed on a bus, in a city, or on a railway line. In the case of vehicles, Davra’s platform gathers information such as mileage in a day or hour and tyre pressure. This information helps companies increase employee productivity and passenger safety, reduce fuel costs, provide more fleet uptime, optimise driving routes, and perform vehicle tracking.

An IoT tale
While Davra technology collects, analyses and feeds data from different sources in various industries, its recent success in connecting buses is demonstrating just how valuable IoT can be in the real world. A transformative application includes a Texas school district, where Davra technology is increasing the efficiency of bus operation.

Back in 2014, officials in the 650-square-mile Texas school district hired vendors including Davra Networks to add Wi-Fi to school buses. One reason, amongst others, was to allow students to study and do homework during the long daily bus trip – at times a four-hour commute. Little did they realise this would become a powerful case study in the broad benefits of IoT.

The technology solution included Davra’s RuBAN™ platform, which collected vast amounts of raw data, managed it, and turned it into intuitive, visual solutions.

The project helped the school district to optimise performance by using real-time vehicle telemetry while decreasing fuel costs through real-time location, speed, and idle time tracking. In addition, the project reduced the district’s carbon footprint, by monitoring mileage and driving patterns. It also brought peace of mind to parents since the system tracked the location of students riding the buses in the far-flung rural areas.

Davra and one of the other partners on the project, Cisco, are now pushing the solution nationwide. The Howe Independent School District in Oklahoma is purchasing the system for the coming school year and school districts in New York, Tennessee and Florida will follow.

Davra is currently connecting ten buses that carry Olympic athletes to and from the game venues. “Traffic in Rio is bad enough at the best of times,” says Glynn, “but adding another 500,000 visitors to the mix turns it into a nightmare. Being able to track where each vehicle is and know how long it will take each athlete to get to their competition venue is critical to the success of the games”.

A home in Dublin
“Setting up Davra Networks in Dublin was a no-brainer,” says Glynn. “Even though 95 percent of our business comes from outside Ireland, Dublin is a great centre from an R&D perspective.  It would cost us twice as much to build an R&D team in Silicon Valley, and we wouldn’t get people with the type of experience we’re getting here.”  Glynn cited the significant number of multinational companies that are based in Ireland as an excellent training ground for young engineers. “A lot of Irish engineers get very good experience, learning the trade and then seek a position within a smaller company where they get more visibility for what they do. We’ve never really had problems finding people,” he notes.

Davra currently employs 15 people in Dublin and will double that in the next six to eight months.  Projects on the horizon are connecting emergency vehicles as well as other solutions for using Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) and LoRA technologies to connect smart cities. To Glynn it’s clear who gets the credit: “A large part of our success is down to our strong base in Dublin 1,” he says.

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