Automatic Vehicle Location and Control (AVLC) and Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI)
A system has been installed on all vehicles in the Dublin Bus fleet that automatically tracks the buses and provides information to customers in real time.
There are two distinct aspects to this project. Firstly, the Automatic Vehicle Location and Control (AVLC) system provides the real time vehicle tracking facilities and the management tools to control and manage the services. Secondly, the Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) system uses the data generated by the AVLC system to provide information to the general public.
Each bus in the Dublin Bus fleet is equipped with an on-board computer system to support the vehicle location functions to support a modern fleet management and control tool. This in turn provides the necessary data required for the presentation of travel information to the public.
The on-bus system generates location data in real time using satellite tracking technology. This data is transmitted from the bus by means of a data radio system.
The system has been implemented on all buses and across all routes in the city. Supervisors now have a real time view of the services being operated. They can to compare actual services with the schedules, identify gaps in services and take corrective actions. The tools available on the central system compute the consequences of the controllers’ interventions and regulations, and assist in good decision-making.
A recording facility stores logs of all vehicle movements. This is used to assist in planning and scheduling. It is also a valuable tool in post-event investigation of specific events.
Provision of Real Time Passenger Information
The AVLC system generates the necessary data that can be used for the provision of information to the public. Real time information is presented to the customer through a number of channels, including internet browser, mobile phone via SMS and smartphone apps, in-vehicle displays and, in collaboration with the National Transport Authority and Dublin City Council, at bus stop information display panels.
Traffic Light Priority
Dublin Bus is working with local authorities in the Dublin area to develop a link between the AVLC system and the traffic light management system to provide priority to buses at traffic light controlled junctions.
Real Time Information at Bus Stops
Dublin Bus is collaborating with Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority to implement an infrastructure of bus stop information display units that display real time predictions of bus arrival times at bus stops. The data generated in the AVLC system provides the basis of the arrival time estimates for the bus stop display units.
Following a public procurement process, a contract for the AVLC system was awarded to German company, INIT GmbH, a subsidiary of init innovation in traffic systems AG.
Following a period of extensive testing on a pilot route (route 123) the first phase of implementation was completed in April 2010, with the system being commissioned on all routes operating from Summerhill depot.
The system was rolled out on a depot by depot basis, with full deployment across the entire Dublin Bus fleet achieved in February 2011.
Deployment of real time information (web, SMS, roadside displays) followed the rollout of the AVLC system.
Initial testing of the roadside RTPI display units commenced in the latter half of 2010. The pilot phase of the system was launched at ten bus stops in February 2011. By the end of 2011 information displays were installed at approximately 350 bus stops. Further extension of this system will proceed during 2012.
In September 2011, real time information was made available on this website and www.transportforireland.ie . Additionally, predicted arrival times for buses was also made available via SMS and smartphone apps.