RUBIK – connection security and passenger information for regional bus traffic
Institute of Transportation Science, Stuttgart, Germany
Client: State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Involved institutions: VWI Stuttgart GmbH, Heilbronn district, city of Neuenstadt am Kocher, Heilbronn Hohenloher Haller Nahverkehr GmbH (H3NV), Omnibus traffic Ruoff GmbH (OVR), E. Zartmann GmbH & Co. KG, WBO Verband Baden-Württembergischer Omnibusunternehmer eV, Institute of Railways and Transportation (IEV) of the University of Stuttgart
For many years, large-scale conurbations had operations control systems in local public transport that, in addition to operational tasks, also provide services for passengers (eg dynamic passenger information and connection security). In order to realize such services, real-time data is needed, the actual arrival and departure times at stops, which may differ from the scheduled arrival and departure times according to the timetable due to disturbances (eg traffic jams, construction sites or technical problems). These real-time data are usually determined by computer-aided operational control systems.
The goal of the project was the development and realization of a network-oriented, vehicle-related information system focusing on the requirements of regional bus traffic.
As part of the project, the system RUBIK was developed, in which the determination of real-time data and all other tasks are done directly in the vehicle. For this purpose, commercially available mobile industrial PCs were used. These feature a 7 “full-color touchscreen and integrated modules for location and communication. With their compact size and robust design, these devices are ideal for use in buses. The staffed central control center required in metropolitan operations control systems has been replaced by a communication server which merely serves as an exchange of information between vehicles, passenger information and the other providers or users of data. The on-board computers in the vehicles exchange important information directly from bus to bus with each other and do not require a controlling central authority.
In addition, the system offers the possibility of operating any passenger information media via a common interface. This was realized in the project as an example at the linkage point “Lindenplatz” in Neuenstadt am Kocher by means of three displays, but it is also possible at any other stop which is equipped with a corresponding display system for dynamic passenger information. Central data hub Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZDD BW) of the national transport company NVBW also get the real-time data to the timetable information, which can be used via the Internet or via smartphone app.
The RUBIK system has been put into regular operation after a detailed test phase and is also available for other companies.