Kontiki Working Group - Articles and news items
Issue 6 2010 • 15 December 2010 • Dr. Manfred Ritschel, Past Chairman of the Kontiki Working Group
The Arbeitskreis für kontaktlose Chipkartensysteme für Electronic Ticketing (Kontiki – Working Group for contactless smartcard systems in electronic ticketing) was founded in 1998 and sees itself as a product- and systemindependent platform for electronic mobility systems based on contactless media. The focus of its work is on the use of contactless smartcard and other mobility systems in the field of public transportation.
When Thor Heyerdahl decided to cross the Pacific Ocean from South America to Tahiti in 1947 in order to prove that what had hitherto been considered impossible could indeed be true, he named his balsa raft Kon-Tiki. Many years later, this name was perfect for reviving the same ideas in the world of electronic fare management: the idea of exploring the possibilities and applications of contactless ticketing in the future.
Within an unbelievably short period of 10 years (as long as the Working Group Kontiki has been in existence) electronic fare management (EFM) has successfully advanced into nearly every area of our society. To be sure, the founding idea of the Working Group Kontiki was to bring card manufacturers, banks, system integrators and producers of background systems together on a national level for an exchange of experiences and standards in order to find the best possible solution for contactless ticketing in many different areas of life. Thus, today we naturally think of European-wide solutions. The requisite applications have been developed and implemented in European countries at a varying pace. Whether VDV Core Application (Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen), ITSO, Calypso, among others – they have all contributed to keeping the round table within a European context.