Lancaster University

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New Passenger Information for Buses

08/12/2003 09:23:58

COMBUS - COMmunity Information System for BUSes

Lancaster University's Department of Communications Systems is playing a major role in a Department for Trade and Industry sponsored project which will use new technology to provide a Community Information System for buses.

The project will give the public access to bus timetable data, including real-time information on delays, cancellations and connections. Weather reports and advertisements for community services can also be displayed to update and entertain passengers.

The Department's particular expertise will be used to design and position nodes on the buses to gather information relating to pollution levels and real-time weather data. This data will benefit environmental auditors, the public, traffic control systems, meteorologists and emergency planners.

The University will work with other partners to develop a system which analyses, stores and displays data securely. Software design is required to interface to cameras on-board buses and to display information on the display platform. This involves wireless communication expertise to work on mobile connectivity, routing, data call set ups, and multiplexing.

All data relevant to the bus companies, local authorities and other regulatory bodies, will be stored on a main server. This data could include information relating to bus safety, security, environmental emissions, weather telemetry and accident reports.

The prototype system is expected to be piloted on bus routes between Lancaster University and the bus depot in Lancaster City Centre. It is expected that similar systems will be established on alternative routes in Lancaster, and further afield in the future.

The system will utilise new Ultrawideband technology (UWB) to transfer information gathered from sensors and cameras on-board buses to either public display platforms and/or a main server.

The partners in the BUSCOM project are

NextGen Telematics Ltd. (Coordinator)

BOX Telematics Ltd.

Lancaster University

HW Communications Ltd.

Omitec Ltd.