Electronic systems in public transport vehicles will really start to develop, once the open standard defining data communication between them is finalized. The Europe-wide standard will regulate both data communication between devices such as destination boards, validators and on-board computers, as well as connectors and cables.
The standard is to be tested in two pilot buses in Tampere. Standard-compliant destination boards, a fare collection device and on-board computer will be installed in both buses. Data on the fuel economy and the digital engine system will be collected in the other bus. The other bus will be fitted with a "road conditions sensor" of the Finnish National Road Administration, which will record data on the characteristics (especially friction) of the route's road surface. The measured data will be concentrated and uploaded every 10 minute to the data systems of the Road Administration.
Once the standard has been officially introduced, public transport companies can implement a wider variety of applications with fewer and probably more reasonably-priced equipment. The public transport device market will become both more interoperable and broader at the same time. Passengers, too, will benefit by getting up to the minute public transport information and services.
Future in-vehicle systems will share information with each other, as for example both the fare collection device and bus stop display can utilise the GPS-koordinates provided by a third device. Other examples of shareable data are time and date, driver's ID and route number. Further advantage is that new functions can be added without necessarily adding more equipment. Today the interoperability is a problem if additional devices are installed.
The new in-vehicle bus standard will also be applied to other public transport vehicles, such as trams, trolley-buses and light rail systems. Often the vehicles will have a wireless connection to the transporter's own data systems, the passengers' service systems and the road conditions monitoring systems. Vehicles will produce and exploit already gathered data themselves. Data can be used in all commercial vehicle and passenger service systems.
Standard allows either WorldFIP or CANopen data transfer protocols to be used. CANopen, in particular, is already widely used in industrial machines and equipment. These devices can be utilised also in coming in-vehicle public transport systems.
The project is funded by serveral equipment manufacturers, bus operators, the Finnish National Road Administration, the National Technology Agency of Finland (TEKES), and VTT Automation. The Tampere City Transport, Väinö Paunu Oy, Insta Visual
Systems, Intermarketing Oy Ab and Mitron Oy are participating to the pilot. VTT is responsible for the bus concept and test, and will represent Finnish interests in european standardisation. The project is part of the KULTEK development programme of the General Industry Federation.
VTT Automation, Pertti Peussa, Tel: +358 3 316 3606, Mobile: +358 40 501 5819, firstname.lastname@example.org
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