Intelligent Transportation Systems platform
MobiGuider ITS is the Intelligent Transport System module that takes care of vehicle tracking and tracing, driver guidance, itinerary information and dispatching requirements in public transport:
Using the Monitoring component of the MobiGuider system, system engineers have an overview of all the ITS (and AFC) equipment that is being used in the field. They are also able to consult the current operational state and other equipment information such as the software version, the data file version, and so on. With this tool the IT infrastructure and the software services are continuously monitored allowing the system engineers to react at the first glimpse of trouble.
Today’s public transport companies have an accountability towards their funders on the fulfilment of their transportation contracts, which means that their services have to be screened for quality and efficiency and subsidised accordingly.
The Reporting and Analysis component of the MobiGuider system is the tool for performance data analysis and schedule improvements. Vehicle log files, present in the TransModel database, are compared with the planned timetable data. The output of this process, called trip recognition, is a variety of graphs and tables which show the effectiveness of the services rendered and help to locate possible problems. Moreover, they may help in optimising timetables.
A modern public transport company generates a vast amount of data. Actual data is compared with planned timetable data. Vehicle movements are continuously recorded, then stored for analysis later on.
The heart of the MobiGuider system consists of one central database: the TransModel database. It is a European standard reference data model for public transport operators. It is a conceptual model, so there is no mandate for any particular implementation, promoting a common integrated approach, allowing an open architecture, allowing easy adaptations and guaranteeing reliable information exchange between different software components.
Furthermore, software is available to import or export data to third party systems, truly making the TransModel database the central component of the system.
Using the User Management and Authentication component of the MobiGuider software platform, it becomes easy to manage users, their corresponding roles and privileges on the various applications. Also overall authentication of the technical services can be managed using this tool.
It goes without saying that the whole system uses today’s modern (network) security techniques to protect the critical business data.
If the central database is the heart of a modern public transport company, then the MobiGuider traffic control centre must be the brain. All traffic and trip information from the entire fleet is monitored here.
The traffic control operators communicate with the individual drivers and, with one glance on the interactive map, exactly know at each point in time where the vehicles of the fleet are located. Incidents reported by the drivers are entered into the system and immediate corrective actions are taken by changing the short term planning, monitoring and managing obstructions and interchanges, calling in reinforcement trips and communicating all these activities to the drivers and passengers.
No secrets in the MobiGuider system. Software interacting with the the central database makes sure that standard interfaces such as TMI (TransModel Interface) and SIRI (Standard Interface for Real-time Information) are supported. This makes it possible to communicate information such as timetable information, current vehicle position, text messages to passengers, unplanned timetable changes, departure information, etc. to third party systems.
Since it makes no sense to enter and manage data in the MobiGuider system if this data is already being managed using external tools, the system supports data import from planning and scheduling tools such as Hastus, Microbus, Trapeze, Perdis, etc. This guarantees that the information fed into the MobiGuider system comes from one, unique source and that the exact same information is used throughout the system.
Ecodrive systems measure in an optimum way the driving style and performance of drivers. These Ecodrive systems interface with the CANbus of modern vehicles feeding information regarding fuel consumption, use of the brakes, the clutch and the accelerator pedal position, speed and acceleration and many other data coming from the engine.
These measurements can then be presented in Ecodrive reports that can be customized taking into account the client's specific activities:
- Eco-Proactive motoring performance
- Sustainable safety on the public highway
- Sustainable safety on a secured site
These reports present and interpret the driving behaviour and competencies of any driver in an objective and accurate manner. The ultimate goal is to give feedback to the driver and improve his behaviour through specific training. MobiGuider is an open system capable of integrating different Ecodrive systems available on the market.
The board computer and driver console touch screen are an excellent team, assisting the driver in its delay routine. Through a single logon procedure, the driver gains access to both ITS and AFC functionalities.
On the ITS side, the driver is guided through the day/vehicle planning, while he is continuously informed of the trip punctuality to ensure effective service delivery. Other ITS functionalities comprise, among others, automatic stop and off-route detection, sending and receiving text messages as well as voice calls to or from the traffic control centre and a status overview of all connected devices. Another important function is the emergency button which, when pressed, immediately yet discretely opens a communication channel with the traffic control centre while highlighting the vehicle on a map and triggering the surveillance devices and software to bookmark the event.
On the AFC side, the driver is informed about the status of the fare payments that are done by the passengers and he is assisted in AFC product sales such as tickets, products on contactless smart cards, etc.
The board computer, the heart of the vehicle system, is the main controlling unit. Apart from continuously communicating its current GPS detected location to the central system and running the application assisting the driver in his daily routine, it monitors and controls the connected vehicle equipment. In this way it handles traffic light priority signals, it drives audio and visual equipment such as stop annunciating systems, displays and infotainment screens as well as integrating surveillance equipment. Moreover, with its variety of communication technologies (Wi-Fi, UMTS, GPRS, etc.), the board computer is the ultimate communication gateway.
Tracking & punctuality
Keeping track of the fleet its vehicle positions is ever so important for a modern public transport company. Using the Vehicle Track and Trace component of the MobiGuider systems, the traffic control operators have an interactive map at their disposal which shows vehicle positions at any given time.
But there is more; next to the map view, different line views can be selected. Selecting a vehicle lights up the vehicle information such as driver name, current line and trip, destination and more. Interactive menus make it easy to send text messages to the driver consoles, passenger displays and station displays and to establish voice calls with the drivers. Pushing the vehicle’s emergency button switches the map focus to the vehicle in distress and highlights it.
Vehicles on the map are coloured differently according to their punctuality (early or late). More details on the punctuality are shown when selecting the vehicle.