Design

As mentioned earlier, the Information Scoreboards are subordinated to the Central Service of the City Transport Management. The Transport Company enters into an agreement with the Central Service for the right of access to the Information Boards, installed at the stops, serviced by its vehicles.

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It can be seen from the figure that the scoreboard based on an easily modifiable modular design. The four upper base modules are made in the same construction and reflect the schedule of arrival of a certain type of transport (from the top down: buses, trolleybuses, trams and route taxis). The static informative elements has yellow background that can be illuminated by ordinary bulbs. The rest of the elements carry dynamic information and are made using LEDs.

Electronic circuitry is extremely simple and identical, which provides a low cost of the module, its easy repair and interchangeability. The number of modules corresponds to the number of transport types that the Information Scoreboard serves at this stop. If, for example, the board only serves tram routes, information about each of them is displayed with a periodicity of 3 seconds, for a single module with a tram icon.

Each module provides the passenger with the following information (from left to right of the icon):

  • Route number
  • The indicator of the direction of travel according to the map (north, south, etc.) from this stop towards the end. (The information is not mandatory, but can be useful to the passenger for quick orientation on the map)
  • The remaining time before the arrival of the nearest Vehicle in minutes (where, for example, "1" should be read as - less than 1 minute)
  • The number of vehicles of this route following the nearest one. (The information is not mandatory, but can be useful)

NOTE: at the moment it seems possible to provide the specified information in a more convenient form, while reducing the cost

The 5th above module shows an optional 'scrolling line', designed to display advertisements. Interested companies can order in the Central Service of the City Transport Management the placement of advertising lines on the Information Boards where this module installed. It is also possible to organize the output of information about the current time and air temperature. In this case, "Time" and "Temperature" are output alternately in the right corner of the 'scrolling line'.

NOTE: the 'scrolling line' contains more LED elements than base module, so, the cost of it will increase accordingly

The next optional module of the Information Board is a panel, containing a paper map with the displayed routes served at the given stop, which position displayed on the map by marker (circle, cross, or other).

NOTE: the placement of information above is intended on both sides of the modules

The only intelligent device of the Information Board is the Control Module, which is supposed to be placed in a column through which power is supplied to the scoreboard and on which it is fixed. This simple and small-sized device processes information from all the Transport Vehicles, serviced by this Information Board and outputs it to the modules described above.

Electronics

The following figure shows the main functional nodes of the Central Control Unit and Information Board modules. In yellow, the optional elements of the controller and the "scrolling line" module are highlighted.

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Contains:

  • MCU
  • Equipment to support an inexpensive MESH-network of the selected type (in the city) or GSM-modem (for suburban stops)
  • Temperature sensor (optional)
  • Light Sensor for automatic on/off and brightness adjustment of the Information Board modules within 24 hours
  • Unified interface for connecting Information Board modules
  • AC/DC power supply unit, taking into account the possibility of connecting up to 4 basic Information Board modules and a 'scrolling string' panel

Basic Module of Information Board

Contains:

  • Illumination bulb for vehicle type icon
  • LED display elements of the arrival schedule of vehicles of the specified type
  • The unified interface for connecting other Information Board modules and/or the Control Module

NOTE: the type of vehicle serviced by a particular module is determined by the corresponding jumper on the connection connector, the configuration of which is available to the Control Module for reading

Module 'scrolling line'

Contains:

  • LEDs for the implementation of 'scrolling line'
  • The unified interface for connecting other Information Board modules and/or the Control Module

NOTE: The width and height of the panel in pixels is fixed by a jumper on the connection connector, available to the Control Module for reading

 Module of the map

Contains only bulbs to highlight the paper map

NOTE: all mentioned static lighting elements (bulbs) are connected in a single chain and are controlled by a switch of the Control Module, depending on the current illumination of the display.

Some remotely controlled parameters

From the foregoing it follows that most of the parameters of the Information Board modules are determined by jumpers in the chain of their connection. The Central Office of Urban Transport Management should be able to remotely carry out the following commands:

Connect Vehicle to Service

The scoreboard control module keeps a list of the routes allowed for maintenance in non-volatile memory. Some routes can be serviced simultaneously by several Transport Companies. The command is designed to permit maintenance of the given Information Board of a certain route, provided by the specified Transport Company.

Options:

  • Type of vehicle (bus, tram, etc.)
  • Unique Identifier of the Transport Company
  • Route number (for example, 69)

On the basis of these data, the controller of the Information Board automatically checks whether the service is authorized when requested by the vehicle.

Disconnect the Vehicle from Service

The command is designed to prohibit the service of certain route by this Information Board. The parameters are the same as in the "Connect to Service" command.

Read Settings

The command is designed to read all current parameters of the scoreboard in order to automatically check its efficiency and compliance with current contracts for the service of Transport Companies.

Disable Scoreboard

The modular design allows you to quickly repair the Information Board and build/reduce the number of Information Board modules. Upon arrival at the site, the repair team communicates with the dispatcher of the Central Service of the City Transport Management and asks to disable the scoreboard. If for some reason this can not be done remotely, then a secure local shutdown protocol must be provided.

This command is designed to turn off the indicators and remove the scoreboard from the service, i.e. from participation in the information exchange with Transport Vehicles. After this, it is possible to turn off the power supply and replace the modules. The design of the Information Board should be implemented in such a way, that when attempting to unauthorized opening of the module (even by a person familiar with the design), the Control Module will have time to send message "Unauthorized Access" to the Central Service of the City Transport Management.

Connect Scoreboard

This command is intended for the primary (or, at the end of the repair) inclusion of the Information Board to the network. After that the dispatcher of the Central Service of the City Transport Management can, if necessary, remotely program the necessary parameters and check the efficiency of the scoreboard.

Enable Scoreboard

The command is given after all required parameters of the Information Board have been programmed. From this moment, automatic information exchange with Transport Vehicle and the work of all indicators are allowed.

Upload Advertisement

The command transmits data for recording of information, intended for display in the 'scrolling line' module in non-volatile memory. For the text of each advertisement, the following parameters are provided: the number of shows per hour, the duration of show (seconds), the start and the end date of the show.

Download Profile

It's hard to imagine that someone will decide to rename, for example, the Lincoln Tunnel in Manhattan. We rename both - streets and entire cities. Therefore, among other standard parameters necessary for informing passengers at a given stop, it is necessary to provide loading into a non-volatile memory of a text and audio file, containing its name. Additionally, a hash value must be loaded, that uniquely identifies these files. Because MESH-networks are intended mainly for the exchange of short messages, then at the moment of arriving to the stop, the Vehicle asks mentioned hash from the Information Board and compares it with the value, stored in the non-volatile memory of the Vehicle Controller. If the values ​​do not match, the Vehicle Controller automatically transmits the hash value received from the Information Board to the Dispatch Center of its Transport Company, where it is compared to the one, stored in the Database. The Dispatch Center software transfers back to the vehicle the hash values of the previous and current names of this stop. If, for some reason, the Vehicle Controller contains erroneous data, depending on the type of MESH-network selected, the vehicle can request the Information Board of both files and write them to its non-volatile memory. Or, if its hash coincides with the value of the stop's previous name, continue to use it until vehicle return to the park, where the old name files will be automatically updated. Otherwise, the driver must declare a name of stop by himself through the microphone.