• The On-Board Terminal to collect wagon position and status information and send it to the Operation Centre, according to pre-defined events criteria (Event Messaging);
• The Operation Centre to forecast the Expected Time of Arrival using suitable models;
• The Internet-based bid and offer module (F-MAN pool) to reduce the empty returns;
• The status-oriented maintenance module to improve the availability of wagons;
• A Decision support system based on financial and commercial criteria to assist the control of wagons fleet.
To reach all the ambitious objectives of the F-MAN project, the Consortium proposed to adopt a modular architecture that, on the one hand would have provided suitable flexibility in respect to the hardware choices, and on the other hand would have granted the maximum scalability of the system itself. As the following Chapters will describe, such early proposal became the Consortium choice and its validity was confirmed during the technical development phase of the project and the prototype verification phase.