Counting passengers

Counting passengers – the APC system

The system will be available at the beginning of 2014

Description of the APC system

The use of the APC passenger counting system

We are developing the APC system for counting passengers in vehicles. This system is being developed for the purposes of keeping a record of busyness of individual vehicles and creating statistics from these records.

The passenger counting system (monitoring the vehicle occupancy rate) is mainly suitable for:

  • Monitoring the number of passengers in the vehicle (the vehicle occupancy rate)
  • Monitoring busyness of the vehicles (the number of passengers on the route)
  • Monitoring busyness of stops (a public transportation frequency record)
If requested the sensor can be modified to allow it to function outside vehicles.
Pic. no 1:The scheme of monitoring the public transportation vehicle occupancy rate - APC.

Pic. no 1:The scheme of monitoring the public transportation vehicle occupancy rate - APC.

Composition of the APC system

The system for counting passengers in public transportation vehicles (APC) consists of:

  1. UCP-01 surveillance unit (unit of people counting), that is placed above each set of vehicle doors (see the description below),
  2. vehicle communication data distribution system – most frequently the Ethernet busbar including an ethernet switch (for example  ECU-08) is used. It is also possible to use other busbars suitable for vehicles – RS 485 or CAN.
  3. system counting units– i.e. an application running on the vehicle on-board computer – e.g. EPIS  4.0x or EPIS 5FCC. This application gathers information about the number of passengers supplied by the UCP-01 and saves this information in a file including additional information (the GPS position, names of stops, times, the line number, etc.). The on-board computer then behaves as a so called datalogger.
  4. vehicle-dispatching communication system- when the doors are closed the on-board computer adds information about the number of passengers to the data communication with the dispatching. This information is transported on-line via  a private radio network DP or GSM/GPRS/UMTS  to the dispatching where it can be processed by the dispatching system (e.g. SPRINTER 2013) and statistics can be made from it.

Surveillance units of the APC – UCP – 01 system

Each surveillance unit of the UCP-01 system is equipped with a control unit that records and processes images. The result of this is information about the number of passengers getting on and off the vehicle through the set of doors above which the unit is situated. This information is sent to the APC system control unit which can be the EPIS 4.0A or the EPIS 5FCC on-board computer.

The UCP-01 surveillance unit uses a system of two cameras to recognize passengers getting on/off the vehicle. The system is based on stereoscopic vision recorded with the help of two cameras which ensure counting efficiency even when there is light reflection. The recorded signal from the cameras is processed on-line computationally and converted to the form of numbers which is the reason why this camera system is not in contradiction with personal information protection. The sensor for determining the number of passengers based on counting the passengers getting on and off the vehicle is meant for keeping records of  vehicle busyness and for creating statistics from these records.

The whole unit is to be installed above doors leading inside the vehicle. In case of vehicles with multiple sets of doors, it is necessary to place a unit above each set of doors, i.e. the number of units must equal the number of vehicle doors to ensure that the resulting information corresponds with reality. UCP-01 units transfer data via the Ethernet busbar to an application which gathers the data, assesses it and sends it for further procession.

If the units are connected via the ethernet busbar they are also supplied with power by it (the PoE system). Therefore there is only one UTP cable that provides both power supply and data communication.

The sensor itself is to be installed inside the vehicle. If there are more sets of doors there should be a sensor above each of them to ensure that the resulting information corresponds with reality, see the following picture.

Pic. no.2: Placement of the UCP-01 units above vehicle doors.

Pic. no.2: Placement of the UCP-01 units above vehicle doors.

Technical parameters of the UCP-01 passenger surveillance unit
Casing material ABS plastic
Covering IP 3x
Communication interface Ethernet 100Mbit/s (RS 485 or CAN at a request)
Power supply PoE – + 24V (+48V at a request)
Operation temperature from -20°C to +70°C
Unit processor frequency min. 1.0 GHz
RAM 1GB DDR3
Photography speed 10 images / second
Recognition accuracy 92-95% (when processed off-line, accuracy of almost 97-99% can be reached)
Detection distance 20 cm to 2 m
Detection range > 60°
Power consumption max 5W

Test runs of the passenger counting system

The system has already been test ran. A lot of videos of passengers getting on and off vehicles have been made. At present we are working on the development of this unit in cooperation with the scientific circles of the VUT in Brno. Our goal is to finalize the product. The accuracy during the test runs corresponded with other similar products.

All the processing of recorded videos is done by the UCP-01 unit. Thanks to the thorough data processing inside the unit there is no need for an external computational unit and the data is transferred from the unit directly to the on-board computer.

Passenger counting demonstration

The following video shows the functioning of recognition and subsequent counting of passengers getting on/off the vehicle.

Accuracy of passenger counting systems

So far there has been no methodology of passenger counting while getting on/off the vehicle, therefore this is still an unclear indicator of the number of passengers and thus it depends on surrounding conditions. The following picture shows a situation that is unsolvable for any standard passenger counting unit.

Pic. no.3: Unsolvable passenger counting situation.

Pic. no.3: Unsolvable passenger counting situation.