The intelligent buses and stations start to be a common thing these days. The classical buses and mobile devices are merging more and more in the busy cities. Things like USB ports and wireless internet access are a standard in the last few years, but nowadays, the stations also start to borrow some technology. They tend to have electronic displays, that show the station name, date and hour, but also the estimated arrival time for the next bus, tram or trolley. For example we can see that the bus with the number 30 will arrive in the station in three minutes, and the one from the line eight in six minutes. The commuters can also see this kind of information on the private displays of their mobile phones, even if they are in the bus station or in their office. This way they can optimize the route in order to make it in time to the station, without having to waste too much time in the station waiting for their transport.
How is this magic possible? Pretty simple and relatively cheap, using modern technology.
On the bus, trolley or tram is installed a GPS receiver, a mobile internet device and sometimes a beacon.
The GPS receiver gets the vehicle coordinates and current speed, then sends them through the mobile internet connection to a server, where the approximate arrival time is calculated and sent to the stations displays and via an API to the mobile app. Many systems are using also Bluetooth beacons for increased precision. This means that the system also knows very accurately when the vehicle is in the station, and when it leaves it, updating the vehicle statuses in the app.
Limitless app features
From the mobile app, public transport tickets can be bought using a credit card, digital wallet, credit, or even bitcoins… The municipality can include the whole city transport map, with all the vehicle positions updated in real time. It can also feature the city attractions and routes individually calculated from the current position, travel estimated duration and total cost.
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