Case Studies

A Solid Technology Foundation

by Alan Joch

August 2014

What does it take to serve modern commuters today and create a foundation for new services? Cotral’s intelligent transportation systems platform relies on core Oracle technologies.


Cotral S.p.A.

    Location: Rome, Italy

    Industry: Public transportation

    Employees: 3,448 staff; 2,557 drivers

    Revenue: €295 million

    Oracle products: Oracle Database, Oracle Real Application Clusters, Oracle Spatial, Oracle Fusion Middleware MapViewer

Diego Ponzi

Manager of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Mobility Technology

Length of tenure: 16 years

Education: MS in mechanical engineering, Università di Roma Tor Vergata


For machine-to-machine communications, sensors and control units in each of Cotral’s vehicles gather a wide variety of data about each bus and relay it to a central management system. The electronic units in each bus collect real-time data about the geographic position of vehicles, odometer and speedometer readings, oil temperatures, and other important status information.

“This has radically changed our operations because we can monitor any of our vehicles anywhere in our territory, even when they’re 200 kilometers from headquarters,” says Diego Ponzi, manager of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and mobility technology at Cotral. “We know whether the buses are on schedule, and we can tell whether they need maintenance before problems arise.”

Using advanced business intelligence, senior staff members can analyze schedule and performance data for opportunities to improve routes and develop new services. In addition, a combination of global positioning system devices and mapping software enables electronic displays that will plot the locations of each vehicle in the fleet. This information will help planners make spot decisions about routes and schedules to get riders to their destinations on time.

Automated ticketing solutions made possible with smart transit cards simplify boarding and may pave the way for riders to use the tickets for attractions once they reach their destinations.

New mobile apps give customers ready access to data about routes, schedules, actual arrival times, and other information once they begin their journeys.

Finally, an industry-standard communications platform allows the Cotral staff to easily manage and distribute service information internally and share public data to give customers updates about route changes, traffic jams, and accidents that affect schedules and arrival times.

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