Mobile perspective in regional public transportation

Sep 03, 2012

At the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited trade show in Berlin from August 31 - September 5, developers from Fraunhofer's FOKUS will exhibit how to link information to mobile devices and to public displays. The goal is to make the use of public regional transit more convenient and more appealing.

Did we miss it, or is it just delayed again, that bus? How often have you had to ask yourself the same thing, incredulously, while waiting for your bus. In a project with the VBB, developers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems FOKUS are processing data on the latest via the VBB's , so that they can report to passengers – resident and tourist alike – not only the current location of the bus or streetcar, but also alternative routes, or even if it would be cheaper to transfer to a car-share or bike-share program, and if interesting sights or events are nearby.

"With the scenario on display at IFA, we intend to exhibit the potential that is available if traffic and transit information are intelligently intertwined," explains Robert Kleinfeld of FOKUS. "That's why we developed software that takes data from the display sign at a stop – like the schedule, for instance – and can simply transmit it to a , so you can take it with you."

Transferring data from the bus stop display directly to the smartphone

One example might look like this: The passenger plans his route from his current location, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, straight through the city to Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg, a nightlife district. He can put the routing together at the bus stop display. It is automatically converted into a that he is able to scan using his smartphone. That way, he has the connection data for his route through the city directly on his cellphone. When he passes by a sight, he obtains the corresponding information about it. This also tells him about nearby restaurants or current events that lay directly on his route. If the passenger is a Berlin resident, then he can request different information, such as locations of vehicles in a car-share or bike-share program, which are displayed for him on a city map. The user selects "tourist" or "resident" at the beginning of the route planning process on the public screen.

In both cases, plans call for displaying real-time data about buses or trains, their current location, the scheduled arrival time, as well as any delays in the transit network. Then the system would offer recommendations on alternative routes.

The developers at FOKUS are using VBB's data to provide an exemplary demonstration of this scenario. They converted these data into the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) format. This standard is there to establish and enable the connection of services that access real-time transit data. The multiscreen solution is one example that will be presented at IFA. Visitors can plan a route at a bus stop in the exhibition booth (Hall 11.1, Booth 10) using the public display screens, scan them with their smartphones – provided they have the corresponding app uploaded onto their device – and then take the connection data with them on their trip.

Explore further: Revealing faded frescos

Related Stories

A mobile guide for buses and trains

Jul 08, 2011

If people had access to a fully-fledged system to help them navigate public transport, it could persuade many drivers to switch to their local trains, buses and trams. Researchers are busy developing an application ...

Phone apps keep transit riders on time

Sep 27, 2010

Allen Stern says he had a 40-minute wait between buses when he lived in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Using a free mobile app that became available about a year ago, he could at least tap into the Metropolitan Transit ...

Find Local Rideshares Quickly via Mobile Phone

Sep 03, 2009

( -- In spite of rising energy prices, many car drivers in large cities still ride alone. The OpenRide mobile ridesharing service aims to save them money while reducing the amount of traffic and ...

Georgia Tech researchers address bus bunching

Apr 19, 2012

As any city dweller knows, buses are rarely on time. It’s typical to wait a while, only to have several buses show up one after another, a phenomenon known as bus bunching.

Recommended for you

Revealing faded frescos

19 hours ago

Many details of the wall and ceiling frescos in the cloister of Brandenburg Cathedral have faded: Plaster on which horses once "galloped" appears more or less bare. A hyperspectral camera sees images that remain hidden to ...

Device could detect driver drowsiness, make roads safer

21 hours ago

Drowsy driving injures and kills thousands of people in the United States each year. A device being developed by Vigo Technologies Inc., in collaboration with Wichita State University professor Jibo He and ...

New capability takes sensor fabrication to a new level

Jun 30, 2015

Operators must continually monitor conditions in power plants to assure they are operating safely and efficiently. Researchers on the Sensors and Controls Team at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory ...

Smart phones spot tired drivers

Jun 30, 2015

An electronic accelerometer of the kind found in most smart phones that let the device determine its orientation and respond to movement, could also be used to save lives on our roads, according to research ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.