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Title:
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DYNAMIC CONTROL OF A STOPPING LOCATION AND FOR INFORMING TRAVELLERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/108419
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers waiting for the means of public transport at this stopping location, comprising the steps of: storing in a central data unit specific transport means data comprising at least the formation and door positions of the means of public transport; transmitting the transport means data from the central data unit to a control unit arranged at or close to the stopping location; and showing the transport means data of the approaching transport means at the stopping location before this transport means arrives there, wherein these transport means data comprise at least the door positions expected at the stopping position. The invention further relates to a system for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers with which this method is applied.

Inventors:
VAN HAL NIELS (NL)
JAGGOE MICHAEL (NL)
Application Number:
PCT/NL2015/050027
Publication Date:
July 23, 2015
Filing Date:
January 16, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZWARTLICHT 3D VISUALISATIE (NL)
VAN HAL NIELS (NL)
International Classes:
B61L25/02; B61B1/02; G09F9/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006018304A22006-02-23
WO1998024072A11998-06-04
WO1995001900A11995-01-19
Foreign References:
JP2004330797A2004-11-25
DE202009009221U12010-11-11
JP2001278048A2001-10-10
EP2011712A12009-01-07
Other References:
"BRON: Lange Termijn Spoor Agenda - Vervoerwaardestudie", MINISTERIE VAN INFRASTRUCTUUR EN MILIEU, December 2013 (2013-12-01)
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAAN, Raimond Johannes Gerardus et al. (AC Den Haag, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Method for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport (12) and for informing one or more travellers (18) waiting for the means of public transport at this stopping location, comprising the steps of:

- a central data unit (32) receiving specific transport means data (V) comprising at least the formation and door positions of the means of public transport;

- transmitting the transport means data from the central data unit to a control unit arranged at or close to the stopping location (10); and

- showing the transport means data of the approaching transport means at the stopping location before this transport means arrives there, wherein these transport means data comprise at least the door positions (24) expected at the stopping position.

2. Method as claimed in claim 1 , comprising the step of showing the transport means data in substantially actual size at the stopping location.

3. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, wherein the transport means data shown at the stopping location prior to the stopping process display further carriage functions. 4. Method as claimed in claim 3, wherein the displayed carriage functions comprise one or more of the following functions: class designation, silence compartment, cycle access and disabled access.

5. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, wherein the transport means data shown at the stopping location prior to the stopping process further display personal traveller information comprising at least seat positions.

6. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising the step of showing escape routes at the stopping location during a calamity.

7. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising the step of generating an acoustic signal close to the door positions expected at the stopping position.

8. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, comprising the step of recording the number of travellers alighting from and boarding the transport means during the stopping process.

9. Method as claimed in claim 8, wherein the recorded number of alighting and boarding travellers is used to predict the congestion in a determined part of the transport means, and wherein this predicted congestion is shown as additional ti ansport means data to travellers at the stopping position of a subsequent stopping location.

10. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, further comprising the step of transmitting the desired stopping position to the means of public transport.

11. Method as claimed in claim 10, wherein the stopping location is provided with a dynamic guide on which the desired stopping position is shown to the driver of the vehicle.

12. Method as claimed in any of the foregoing claims, wherein the means of public transport is a rail-related transport means such as a train or tram, and wherein the stopping location i a platform.

13. System for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers, comprising one or more visual means which are arranged along a stopping location and which together form a substantially visually continuous display for the purpose of showing to the travellers transport means data of an approaching transport means, wherein these transport means data comprise at least the door positions expected at the stopping position.

14. System as claimed in claim 13, wherein the visually continuous display extends over at least 70 m, is more preferably at least 100 m long, and still more preferably at least 130 m long.

15. System as claimed in claim 13 or 14, wherein the visual means comprise one or more screens.

16. System as claimed in any of the claims 13-15, wherein the means of public transport is a rail-related means of transport such as a train or tram, wherein the stopping location is a platform, and wherein the visual means comprise a substantially elongate display device which is suspended between the platform and the rails and has at least a first side on which tiansport means data can be shown to travellers. 17. System as claimed in claim 16, wherein the substantially elongate display device further comprises a second side facing toward the rails on which visual information, in particular the desired stopping position, can be shown to the driver of the rail-related transport means.

18. System as claimed in any of the claims 13-17, comprising a plurality of visual and/or auditive recording means which are connected to a control unit configured to identify undesirable situations from the visual and/or auditive recordings.

19. System as claimed in claim 18, wherein the control unit is configured, when an undesirable situation is detected, to show on the visual means at the location of the undesirable situation visual information relating to the situation, such as a warning or order.

20. System as claimed in either of the claims 18 or 19, comprising a plurality of loudspeakers selectively controllable by the control unit, and wherein the control unit is configured, when an undesirable situation is detected, to broadcast via the loudspeakers at the location of the undesirable situation auditive information relating to the situation, such as a warning or order.

21. System as claimed in any of the claims 13-20, wherein the substantially elongate display device is further provided with downward oriented means for counting the number of passengers leaving and entering the rail-related transport means.

Description:
Method and system for dynamic control of a stopping location and for informing travellers

The invention relates to a method for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers waiting for the means of public transport at this stopping location, and to a system for application thereof.

Future developments are having their effect on public transport networks. It is thus the case in the Netherlands that there is a scenario of growth in the number of travellers varying from 10% in the lowest growth scenario to 44% in the highest growth scenario (up to 2030). The network will on this basis come under even more intense pressure. Source: Lange Termijn Spoor Agenda— Vervoerwaardestudie, Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Milieu (December 2013) (Long- term Rail Planning - Transport quality study, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment ( December 2013 ) ).

The growth in the number of travellers (and thereby the number of trains) puts additional pressure on the stopping process. In a high-frequency train system the planned stopping times are relatively short (a maximum of three minutes). If the stopping process is not optimal (for instance because of insufficient transfer space on the platform), there is a good chance of this stopping time not being achieved, resulting in (extra) delays.

The term 'stopping process' refers to the sequence of stopping, passengers alighting and boarding and subsequent departure of a means of public transport.

There is a permanent need to reduce the time required for the stopping process.

The desire here is not only to save time, but also to make alighting and boarding safer and more comfortable for the travellers, and to possibly improve punctuality.

An object of the present invention is to provide a method and system wherein the stopping process is further optimized.

Said object is achieved according to the invention with the method for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers waiting for the means of public transport at this stopping location, comprising the steps of:

- a central data unit receiving specific transport means data comprising at least the formation and door positions of the means of public transport;

- transmitting the transport means data from the central data unit to a control unit arranged at or close to the stopping location; and

- showing the transport means data of the approaching transport means at the stopping location before this transport means arrives there, wherein these transport means data comprise at least the door positions expected at the stopping position.

Because the travellers waiting at the stopping location are already pre -informed of where the doors of the transport means will be located during boarding, the method ensures that the travellers can already take up an optimum position before the transport means has arrived. As a result the stopping process, i.e. the sequence of stopping, passengers alighting and boarding and departure of the train, requires a shorter period of time.

Showing this information in good time to the travellers can moreover prevent a transport means such as the train having to wait for passengers who have to cover considerable distances over the platform before they can enter the train.

According to a preferred embodiment, the method comprises the step of showing the transport means data in substantially actual size at the stopping location. 'Actual size' here relates only to the dimension in longitudinal direction of the stopping location. By showing information travellers can see in advance where for instance the door positions will be located in the stopping position. Travellers will hereby already be able to determine an optimal position before the transport means has arrived, whereby the stopping process will proceed more promptly and more comfortably.

According to a further preferred embodiment, the transport means data shown at the stopping location prior to the stopping process display further carriage functions.

These carriage functions, which preferably comprise one or more of the functions 'class designation', 'silence compartment', 'cycle access' and 'disabled access', provides the travellers with extra information which can further enhance the stopping process. A traveller who is for instance travelling with a cycle can already familiarize him/herself before the transport means arrives with the location of the entry door where he/she can enter the transport means with the cycle.

Particularly in the case of international trains it is usual for travellers to be assigned a specific seat. Because such trains generally also have a considerable length, it is particularly advantageous according to a further preferred embodiment that the transport means data shown at the stopping location prior to the stopping process display personal traveller information comprising at least positions of seat rows.

A further advantageous embodiment is obtained when the method comprises the step of showing the optimum safe escape route at the stopping location during a calamity. The escape routes are preferably shown in animated manner and modified to the specific situation. If cameras are available, information about the platform occupancy is preferably taken into consideration in order to utilize the escape routes in optimal manner. It is thus possible to envisage that, instead of being guided to the closest emergency exit, a determined group of people is guided to an emergency exit a little further away since, given the occupancy, this would be expected to result in a more rapid throughflow. Congestion at a determined emergency exit can thus be prevented.

In order to provide platform staff and disabled travellers, in particular visually impaired passengers, with appropriate boarding information, according to yet another preferred embodiment the method comprises the step of generating an acoustic signal close to the door positions expected at the stopping position. This is optionally possible by means of an acoustic signal via a personal device such as a smart phone.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the method comprises the step of recording the number of travellers alighting from and boarding the transport means during the stopping process.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment this recorded number of alighting and boarding travellers is used to predict the congestion in a determined part of the transport means, and this predicted congestion is preferably shown as additional transport means data to travellers at the stopping position of a subsequent stopping location.

When according to a further preferred embodiment the method further comprises the step of transmitting the desired stopping position to the means of public transport, the possibility is created of varying the stopping position of the means of public transport at the stopping location. Tn order to be able to show the expected door positions in advance to the travellers it is necessary to know the formation of the transport means and what the stopping position will be. If the desired stopping position can be made known to the transport means, extra flexibility is created and a stopping position which is optimal for a specific vehicle formation can be transmitted.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment the stopping location is provided with a dynamic guide on which the desired stopping position is shown to the driver of the vehicle. The driver is thus informed for instance with a signal (light), preferably a blue light, about the location where the transport means should come to a stop.

The method is particularly suitable when the means of public transport is a rail-related transport means such as a train or tram, and wherein the stopping location is a platform.

The invention further relates to a system for dynamic control of a stopping location for a means of public transport and for informing one or more travellers, comprising one or more visual means which are arranged along a stopping location and which together form a substantially visually continuous display for the purpose of showing to the travellers transport means data of an approaching transport means, wherein these transport means data comprise at least the door positions expected at the stopping position.

Because the system - in the example of a train - on the one hand allows the operator to stop at a predetermined optimum stopping point and on the other the travellers waiting at the associated platform are already informed of where the doors of the train will be located during boarding, the system ensures that the travellers will position themselves as well as possible. As a result the stopping process, i.e. the sequence of stopping, allowing passengers to alight and board and departure of the train, will require a shorter period of time.

By showing this information early to the travellers it is moreover possible to prevent the train having to wait for travellers who have to cover considerable distances over the platform before they can enter the train.

A platform can sometimes have a length of up to 650 m, and it is par ticularly advantageous for the visually continuous display to extend over substantially the whole length of the platform, i.e. the stopping location. The system however preferably comprises a visually continuous display which extends over at least 70 m. This length spans at least the currently shortest train formation. The span is however more preferably at least 100 m long, and still more preferably at least 130 m long. A larger span, ideally over substantially the whole length of the platform, makes it possible on the one hand to show longer train formations over substantially the whole length and on the other provides flexibility in respect of the stopping position along the platform.

Although it is possible to envisage the information being projected, a particularly advantageous embodiment is obtained when the visual means comprise one or more screens. Screens comprising for instance LED technology provide a reliable technique.

According to a further preferred embodiment of the system, the means of public transport is a rail-related means of transport such as a train or tram, and the stopping location is a platform, wherein the visual means comprise a substantially elongate display device which is suspended between the platform and the rails and has at least a first side on which transport means data can be shown to travellers. The elongate display device is for instance an elongate beam-like body.

According to a further preferred embodiment, the system comprises a plurality of visual and/or auditive recording means which are connected to a control unit configured to identify undesirable situations from the visual and/or auditive recordings. The visual recording means are cameras which together preferably provide an overview image of the stopping location. Although the control unit can be a separate unit, it is preferably integrated with the central data unit.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the system, the control unit is configured, when an undesirable situation is detected, to show on the visual means at the location of the undesirable situation visual information relating to the situation, such as a warning or order.

According to yet another preferred embodiment, the system comprises a plurality of loudspeakers selectively controllable by the control unit, and wherein the control unit is configured, when an undesirable situation is detected, to broadcast via the loudspeakers at the location of the undesirable situation auditive information relating to the situation, such as a warning or order.

According to yet another preferred embodiment of the system, the substantially elongate display device further comprises a second side facing toward the rails on which visual information, in particular the desired stopping position, can be shown to the driver of the rail-related transport means. It is thus possible for instance to show the driver with a dynamic blue signal (light) where the desired stopping position is. This signal/signal light is clearly discernible from all types of train which will stop there.

An increased efficiency of individual train carriages is obtained when the system also already informs the travellers waiting on the platform about the congestion in specific train parts before the train arrives and opens the doors. The extent to which a carriage is occupied can for instance be displayed visually for this purpose. According to yet another preferred embodiment the system comprises for this purpose means for counting the number of passengers leaving and entering the train. In a particularly advantageous embodiment these counting means are integrated into the substantially elongate display device which is further provided with downward oriented means for counting the number of passengers leaving and entering the rail-related transport means.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention are further elucidated in the following description with reference to the drawing, in which:

Figure 1 shows a cross-section through an elongate beam-like body of a display device of the system according to the invention;

Figures 2 and 3 show a top view of two successive stages preceding the stopping process; Figure 4 shows a detailed top view of the train of figure 3;

Figure 5 is a perspective representation of the view which the operator has in the viewing direction shown in figure 4;

Figure 6 shows a top view during the stopping process;

Figure 7 shows a detailed top view of the train of figure 6;

Figure 8 is a perspective representation of the view which the driver has in the viewing direction shown in figure 7;

Figure 9 is a view of a train from the front, wherein travellers on the platform can read information on the display device;

Figure 10 is a perspective representation of the view which the traveller of figure 9 has; Figure 11 is a perspective view of figure 9; and

Figure 12 is a schematic representation of the system according to the invention.

The display device shown in figure 1 comprises an elongate beam-like body 1 with a first zone 2 which faces toward a stopping location 10. This first zone 2 comprises the traveller side of display device 1. Situated opposite this first zone 2 is a second zone 4 which faces toward the transport means side.

In the embodiment shown in the figures the invention is elucidated with reference to an application with a rail-related transport means 12, more specifically a train 12. Beam-like body 1 is arranged here between the platform which forms the stopping location 10 and the track 14 on which train 12 travels. Travellers 18 waiting for train 12 on platform 10 can in this way view information shown in first zone 2 of display device 1, relating for instance to expected door positions 24 of the next train 12 due which will arrive at this platform 10 (Figure 2). This information enables the travellers to walk to an expected door position 24 before train 12 arrives and to wait there until train 12 arrives (Figure 3). Because some of the travellers 18 can and will already prepare in this way for the imminent stopping process, this stopping process will progress more quickly. This also improves the punctuality of the timetable.

In order to accurately predict an expected door position 24 it is necessary to know where train 12 will come to a stop. Although it is possible to envisage this being automatically controlled in the future, in the shown embodiment an operator 16, i.e. the driver 16 of the transport means 12, is responsible for stopping the train 12. In order to assist the operator 16 here, the side of display device 1 facing toward train 12 comprises a second zone 4 on which information relevant for the operator of train 12 can be displayed.

Operators are already familiar with a blue signal light as stoplight, and it is recommended for this reason to make known to operator 16 in the second zone 4 using (light-emitting) blue surfaces (optionally at an angle) where train 12 has to stand during the stopping process. Figure 4 shows a detailed view of train 12 in which the eyes of operator 16 look via arrow K in the direction of second zone 4 of display device 1. The view which operator 16 has in the viewing direction K is shown in the perspective view of figure 5, wherein second zone 4 shows a preferably blue guide light 26 for operator 16.

According to a further embodiment (not shown) the end surfaces of beam-like body 1 are provided with means for detecting and/or signalling to arriving and departing trains 12.

In the top view of the stopping process as shown in figure 6 can be seen that the expected door positions 24 as shown on first zone 2 of beam-like body 1 correspond to the positions of the actual doors of train 12. Travellers 18 have already taken up a position close to these expected door positions 24 before the train arrived (Figure 3), whereby the stopping process can now progress promptly.

As shown in figures 7 and 8, operator 16 has stopped train 12 at a point where he sees a stopping position/halting point 28 displayed visually in fourth zone 8.

Shown in the front view of train 12 in figure 9 is that display device 1 is arranged between platform 10 and track 14 on which train 12 is standing. First zone 2 is directed toward the travellers on the platform and also lies at an angle relative to platform 10. This angle on the one hand ensures that travellers 18 on the platform look substantially perpendicularly at first zone 2. An additional advantage is that a first zone 2 lying at an angle stands out less from some distance, thereby preventing a train station with multiple parallel platforms having a visually confusing appearance.

The view which a traveller 18 on the platform has of display device 1 is shown in figure

10, wherein can be seen that the beam-like body has on the underside a third zone 6 between first zone 2 and second zone 4. It is particularly advantageous for counting means to be provided in this third zone 6 which are directed downward for the purpose of counting the number of travellers 18 leaving and entering the train. Using this information a prediction can be made in a central control unit 30 (Figure 12) of the congestion in determined compartments of the train, and this can be utilized at a subsequent station in order to also give the travellers 18 there an indication of the congestion in the compartments which will stop close to the expected door positions 24.

Other information which can be shown to travellers 18 is for instance carriage functions, such as class designation, silence compartment, cycle access and disabled access. Personal boarding information/traveller information can further be shown, such as for instance seat rows, seat positions in a train with assigned seats, this usually being the case in international trains. Further personalizing options will be indicated below with reference to Figure 12.

Figure 10 further shows that the beam4ike body has on the upper side a fourth zone 8 between first zone 2 and second zone 4. In a particularly advantageous embodiment lighting is arranged in this fourth zone 8 which can illuminate the station concourse indirectly and thus creates pleasant indirect lighting conditions which can contribute toward safety in the station concourse.

The system is also particularly suitable for disabled persons, in particular the visually impaired, who can already take their time in seeking out a position close to an expected door position 24 before a train 12 arrives. In order to inform visually impaired travellers 18 about the expected door positions 24, a plurality of loudspeakers 34 can be arranged in, at or close to display device 1 which emit a sound if an expected door position 24 is located there (Figure 11).

The cameras of the system are preferably utilized to form a substantially complete image of stopping location 10 so that possible calamities and undesirable situations can be detected in good time. The images obtained by the cameras, optionally supplemented with sound recordings, are preferably analyzed in automatic manner, for instance by central control unit 30, whereby aggression or another panic situation can be identified. This identified situation is then transmitted automatically to a central control room for assessment and information. It is also possible to envisage the system responding autonomously by on the one hand showing visual information relating to the situation on the visual means, such as a warning or order, and on the other broadcasting auditive information via one or more loudspeakers at the position of the situation, optionally in combination with each other.

If desired, the lighting arranged in fourth zone 8 is adapted by a control unit, such as central control unit 30, to the platform occupancy prevailing at that moment. Energy can on the one hand thus be saved by local dimming of the lighting when there are no people 18 on the associated part of platform 10. The sense of safety can on the other hand be enhanced by conversely increasing the degree of lighting when there are people 18 present on the associated part of platform 10.

Finally, figure 12 shows a schematic representation of the system according to the invention, wherein a central control unit, which if desired is in 'the cloud' , receives at least vehicle data V from traffic control or other systems. These transport means data relate for instance to properties such as formation and/or door positions, but also the spatial position and a time unit. On the basis of this and optionally other information which can be shown to travellers 18 on display device 1 , including the expected door positions 24, central control unit 30 calculates the expected congestion in the compartments, carriage functions and so on.

Travellers 18 who via a smart phone, tablet or computer provide additional data to central control unit 30, such as their spatial position, (travel) itinerary, time unit etc., can be provided - as supplement to display device 1 - with personal (travel) information. This personal (travel) information can be consulted for instance via an app on a smart phone 32 and comprises one or more of the following options: active navigation from random location to a determined position at the stopping location; a ticketing system; choice of destination and/or travel times; display of transport means information such as formation and occupancy; and choice of compartment class and seat.

The invention provides the option of integrating determined assets (such as speakers and security cameras), whereby the platform can be managed in an innovative manner.

Although they show preferred embodiments of the invention, the above described embodiments are intended only to illustrate the present invention and not in any way to limit the specification of the invention. The invention is thus not limited to trains but can be applied for other means of transport. When measures in the claims are followed by reference numerals, such reference numerals serve only to contribute toward understanding of the claims, but are in no way limitative of the scope of protection. It is particularly noted that the skilled person can combine technical measures of the different embodiments. The rights described are defined by the following claims, within the scope of which many modifications can be envisaged.