INTERNSHIP - Media distribution in public transport: WebRTC

Domain
Engineer – Software
Market
Rail
Location

Izegem , Belgium

Televic GSP (Rail)

With over 30 years of experience in designing, manufacturing and maintaining on-board communication and control systems, Televic Rail is a leading, trusted partner for railway operators and train builders worldwide.

Its Passenger Information Systems and Control Systems are high quality, tailor-made solutions that offer the flexibility, user-friendliness and stability that our clients ask for. Our various types of on-board control systems such as our bogie monitoring systems are innovative yet reliable products which are designed specifically for the railway business.

Trains and trams all around the world are equipped with Televic Rail solutions, from New Zealand to Canada, from China to the United States, from India to Belgium, England and France.

Topic

Within the public transport sector, real-time media has since long been critical for operations: it gives operators a wider view of the vehicles, allows monitoring the buildings and other infrastructure, distributes information and is critical in crisis situations. However, most communication flows are restricted to a local network, which means crossing hard network boundaries requires custom work on both the network infrastructure and the software.

One way of tackling these problems is by using WebRTC. WebRTC is an open-source, peer-to-peer framework built on top of open standards for real-time communication (like RTC, SDP, …). By embedding several techniques, clients can try to find a path towards each other (STUN), and should that fail, they can use a common broker to exchange media streams (TURN). Another positive aspect of WebRTC is that it's backed by major browser players, like Google and Mozilla, which means that these browsers can render the media feeds of a WebRTC software infrastructure.

Televic GSP has been using GStreamer as the de facto media streamer. GStreamer is a cross-platform, modular media processing framework, which allows for network transport, and storage and transformation of audio, video and data. It contains an implementation of the WebRTC standards. In its most basic form, it serves as an adapter between WebRTC and native applications.

During the internship/thesis, the focus will be to use GStreamer to expose media feeds of cameras on board a train to handheld devices, preferably via different browsers (not just Google or Mozilla based browsers), and to break out of the local network.

The scope of the subject will depend on whether the subject is taken in the context of an internship or thesis. In case the subject is chosen as an internship, the student will have to create a proof-of-concept and present it to Televic via a demo. In case the subject is chosen as a thesis, a thorough analysis of existing protocols will also be required. Furthermore, a thesis student will have to take the limited resources of handheld devices into account, and report on ways of saving, for example, bandwidth and battery lifetime.

Specifics

  • Level: Bachelor, Master
  • Specialty: Embedded Software, Software      
  • Type of work: Research: 30%, Implem.: 55%, Experim.: 15%
  • Location: Televic, University
  • Type of activities: Implementation, Literature Study, Programming
  • Number of students: 1 or 2

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