Trapeze Android Tracker SmartVLU

Tracking of Vehicles by means of Android Devices

Full-featured on-board computers are not the optimal solution for all vehicles operating within a public transit system. Thanks to high-speed networking, accurate location sensors and not least vast computing power, Android-based smartphones and tablets have become a cost-effective platform for mobile computing. The Trapeze SmartVLU app (Vehicle Location Unit) offers full integration to the LIO system for public transit vehicles and can be used with most Android devices.

Customized on-board computers play an important role within a public transit solution and offer a variety of features: vehicle tracking, communication between driver and dispatcher, integration with various voice and data radio systems, control of peripherals, traffic light preemption, rider information by means of LED or TFT displays, and many more.

Wherever vehicle tracking and simple voice and data communication are the most important features, vehicles can be temporarily or permanently equipped with off-the-shelf Android devices running the SmartVLU app. Thanks to full integration with the LIO system, including trip logon and schedule adherence calculation, these vehicles are visible on road-side displays, on all channels of the Traveller Information Platform, and can participate in transfer protection.

Application Areas

SmartVLU-equipped vehicles and vehicles with regular on-board computers can operate alongside each other within the same LIO system. This enables additional (e.g. regional or privately operated) vehicles to be integrated into an existing LIO system. It is even possible for the same SmartVLU vehicle to shuttle between LIO systems.

Another attractive application area is to set up a hosted LIO system from scratch and operate exclusively SmartVLUequipped vehicles. This approach, especially when the devices are procured and installed by the customer, leads to very short project timelines and can  be very attractively priced using very flexible licensing schemes.

Features for the Driver

The SmartVLU app is ergonomically optimised. The logon process is supported by filtering and selecting from lists, in order to avoid erroneous inputs altogether.

After the trip logon is completed, the schedule adherence is locally calculated and displayed, and the most important functions are available at the click of a button. A variety of views provide additional information, such as the position within the current trip, the location on the map, or the arrivals or departures at the next stop.

The communication features include normal and priority request to talk (callback by the dispatcher via the mobile telephone system), sending of driver messages to the dispatcher, display and acknowledgement of incoming instructions from the dispatcher, and a one-click telephone call to an emergency number.

Features for the Dispatcher

From the dispatcher’s point of view, SmartVLU-equiped vehicles look the same as vehicles with regular on-board computers. The vehicles are visualised and managed by means of the usual representations, including vehicle table, route diagram, map view and vehicle details view.

The dispatch functions include processing requests to talk, the setting up of individual and group calls with the drivers, as well as sending instructions and receiving driver messages. Furthermore, schedule offsets and route/run or block reassignments can be defined by the dispatcher.

Features for the Traveller

SmartVLU-equiped vehicles are integrated seamlessly into the real-time traveller information: they are visualised on the SmartInfo G3/G4 stop signs as well as on all channels served by the Trapeze Traveller Information Platform (Web Display Feed, Internet Service, SMS Service). The real-time data is also made available to external systems via VDV or SIRI interfaces.

Limitations

In certain operational situations, the use of Android-based devices is not possible or appropriate. An on-board computer, i.e. IBISplus or ITT, has to be used if peripheral devices are to be connected, such as destination displays, passenger counting sensors or ticket printers. This also applies when there are demanding environmental conditions, when certificates are necessary (e.g. rail or lightrail), or when autonomous operation is desired (data supply).

Licensing

In order to offer a tailored solution for any application scenario, Trapeze offers a variety of licensing schemes: “purchase”, “rent”, or the fully flexible “usage-based accounting”. Please ask for details.

Prerequisites

  • LIO backend
  • SIM cards with data flatrate
  • Android 2.3.3 smartphone or tablet