The driver’s console is a multi-functional display unit, which is typically integrated with the AVL system. It provides the driver with vehicle location information amongst other data depending on the types of systems being used on the vehicle. Generally the console can show the driver when the vehicle is behind or ahead of schedule, in the latter case the driver can react by slowing down or stopping the vehicle. In some systems, such as that implemented in Dublin, the choice has been made not to alert drivers when they are running late so that potential incidences of speeding are avoided. In addition to schedule adherence notification, the console displays current route information including the route, the current and next few stops with scheduled arrival times, and the destination and arrival time. The display can also include fare stage information and connection information for current and subsequent stops in real-time, which allows the driver to wait for connections upon arrival.
The drivers console is primarily used as an operations management tool for dispatch and dynamic scheduling and schedule adherence monitoring, but it is also used as a driver aid in terms schedule adherence support, fare collection and when integrated with other systems such as automatic passenger counters or driving style monitoring devices, the console can be use for passenger monitoring and economic driving assistance.
In terms of the actual functioning of the system, the driver initiates operation when the engine is started and the driver number is entered on the display. The on-board computer is the centre of the vehicle’s Intelligent Transport System and integrates the AVLS with the driver console and any other ITS systems on-board. The on-board computer retrieves route information for that journey, usually via wireless local area connection at the depot or station, and transfers the data to the console to be displayed to the driver for confirmation. The route can be changed manually if it is incorrect and once confirmed, bus stages will be automatically updated based on GPS position and this real-time vehicle location data is sent to the control centre via GSM or a dedicated wireless network.
Benefits and cautions
The main advantage of integrating the AVLS with the driver console is to allow the driver to have active role in ensuring schedule adherence, and to take the necessary precautions when disruptions occur. Customer service is also improved as the driver can see when and where connections are timetabled ensuring better integration of transport services.
Relevant case studies
Dublin, Florence, Zurich