Passenger Self-service checking at the driver

Passenger Self-service checking at the driver

This article describes one of the possibilities of passenger self-service checking. This checking is performed when boarding the vehicle through its front door. Passengers use bank or non-bank contactless cards. The advantage of this system is the fact that if a passenger does not have the card or selling tickets is complicated, the operation can be performed using cash at the driver.

System of self-service checking at the front door

Pic. no. 1: Setup used for passenger checking.

The basic principle of „self-service checking at the front door with control by the driver“ is that passengers board through the front door and use the  EVK 5.0 BP validator placed near the driver to:

  1. Choose a rate, buy a ticket and pay for it by a bank or non-bank contactless card or
  2. use a card  to utilize their subscription to do the checking (bank cards will be used as a passenger indicator),
  3. if a passenger cannot use option a or b they buy a ticket from the driver (the ticket is usually a little more expensive). This also holds for group tickets (e.g. schools).

The driver does not have to „communicate“ with passengers and at the same an LCD terminal shows the driver in what way passengers perform their checking, i.e. what kind of ticket is bought or what subscription is used. This makes it easy for the driver to find out that a card has been used by an unauthorized user or that it has already been used during the drive. The system is also prepared for a situation when it is possible to upload a subscription user photo and display it to the driver in a format approved by ÚOOÚ.

Pic. no. 2: A demonstration of the main validator screen where passengers perform checking

This conception of checking speeds up passenger checking, makes the work of the driver easier and lowers the probability of misusing contactless cards. The demonstrations of the screen of the driver LCD terminal EPT 4.08B (pic. No. 1 on the left after checking by subscription) and of the screen on the EVK 5.0 BP validator (on the right – basic screen) are very similar.

This checking system is suitable for passenger checking in towns and cities where „small“ public transportation is run and its checking is based on a simple rate with just a few items. A demonstration of this can be seen in the picture no. 2 that depicts the basic screen of the validator with only 9 rate options. A passenger then:

  1. comes to the validator, chooses a ticket type and just uses a card. The EVK5.0 validator recognizes the card (bank – non-bank) and executes the payment using either an electronic purse or the bank card.
  2. If a subscription is „recorded“ on the card the passengers performs checking just by putting the card to the validator. The validator checks the card and the passenger can board the vehicle. Basic card information is displayed to the driver. This is clear from 3 where you can see that the passenger used a subscription, was an adult and had a defined subscription (coupon) validity duration. The validator also shows to the passenger what is in their electronic wallet.
  3. The driver can step in the checking process anytime and passengers can pay in cash for tickets to the driver. Tickets bought from the driver cost more. When tickets are bought from the driver, the driver „sees“ higher prices on their terminal than those displayed on the passenger terminal, e.g. a full-price ticket costs 20 kc in cash but it costs just 18 when paid for from an electronic wallet. The driver sells more complicated tickets such as a ticket for a school class or for a diverse group of people (multiple ticket).

Pic. no. 3: A demonstration of a driver terminal screen (on the left) and a validator screen (on there right) during checking with a subscription.

Checking related work of the river

Basic checking functions in the system are similar to regular driver work in similar systems. When the system is started it checks the working of connected devices (peripheries – their state is displayed on the bottom line). After the driver logs in with his contactless card or pin (driver identification) and the shift (run) is set, the driver can open deductions and then choose the shift (run). The driver is guided by the on-board computer for the duration of their shift including using an alarm clock during breaks at termini. Work with deductions can be interrupted at any time and the system can be locked, e.g. during a lunch break.

Pic. no. 4: Basic driver menu after login and before opening deductions (button „OPEN the CASH REGISTER“).

During the drive, the driver basically only checks the self-service checking (except cash payments) –  see pic. No. 5. The following pictures shows an example of a successful payment using an electronic purse of a non-bank card when the driver sees the payment made by the passenger.

Pic. no. 5: Demonstration of a payment by non-bank card as seen on the driver terminal (on the left) and on the validator (on the right)

The driver can also see general payment history and if needed they can cancel a sold ticket. The time period for cancelling a sold ticket is a configuration parameter of the system to ensure that the driver cannot perform cancellations in order to enrich themselves.

If a passenger uses an invalid card the driver is informed (see the following picture). At the same time, the beep of the validator changes from validating to warning to acoustically alert the surroundings.

Pic. no. 6: Demonstration of a case of using a blocked non-bank card as seen on the driver terminal (on the left) and on the validator (on the right).

If a bank card is used the passengers themselves choose the rate. When the rate is chosen online payment authorization is performed – see pic. no. 7 (we apologize for transaction mismatch). We are also preparing off-line bank card payments.

Pic. no. 7: Demonstration of a payment by bank card for full price rate as seen on the driver terminal (on the left) and on the validator (on the right).

If a passenger pays in cash the driver enters the rate and the driver terminal displays the following screen after the ticket is entered. Then the EVK validator prints the ticket and displays the state of the transaction.

Pic. no. 8: Demonstration of a cash payment for a full price ticket as seen on the driver terminal (on the left) and on the validator (on the right) .

All the lesser used checking functions can be accessed through the extra menu that can be entered through the menu of the checking system. The extra menu includes a number of functions such as:

  • ticket cancellation,
  • issuing a group ticket,
  • test ticket print,
  • checking history,
  • control card reading,
  • validator state check

Other functions include document displaying to the driver, browsing schedules saved on the on-board computer and others.

Pic. no. 9: Menu of additional checking functions as seen on the driver terminal.

One of the options is buying a group ticket from the driver. A group ticket can be paid for by cash or by a bank card. The driver chooses the first ticket (e.g. the 60 minute type) and then the driver can add more tickets to this rate type. The other lines become inactive.

Pic. no. 10: Demonstration of a group ticket as seen on the driver terminal.

If a passenger wants to know their card information (coupon state, electronic wallet balance, validity, etc.) they have to ask the driver to allow the card to be read (see information display on ECV below). The driver can cancel ongoing card information display when the passenger leaves or when it prevents continuous checking of other passengers.

Pic. .no. 11: Demonstration of the first two screens of a non-bank card.

System components and connections among them

The advantage of this solution is that it includes both a checking and an information system (hereinafter OIS). This means that the  EPIS on-board computer controls all the peripheries (e.g. information systems) and simultaneously performs checking using the EVK 5.0 validator and controls communications of the vehicle with the dispatching and with the transaction processing backoffice.

The following conditions must be met for the OIS system to work:

Pic. no. 12: Example of a possible data current and communication arrangement in the system

Vehicle data updates

Data updates are only performed when the on-board computer is on. GSM communication is used to perform them. A vehicle can be woken up at a request by low input power communication that asks for new versions and does not influence vehicle consumption. The following communication uses GSM/GPRS/UMTS/LTE networks. The system will be ready for distant tableau playing, automatic tachograph reading, updates of passenger LCDs and of other components (e.g. camera systems).

Arrangement of vehicle transaction databases

Triple backup is used to increase the reliability of the system. The main transaction database can be found in the validator. The validator also contains a „black box“ i.e. independent memory where all performed transactions are saved. The black box is fixed to the validator. The memory of the on-board computer provides another backup and transactions are synchronized with Backoffice. This ensures that a high level of backup is achieved.

Pic. no. 13: Arrangement of transaction databases in the system to increase security

Composition of the checking and information vehicle system

The vehicle arrangement solves two basic situations – checking and informing, and communication connections related to them.

Passenger checking is based on two key interconnected devices – an EPIS  on-board computer and an EVK  validator. The information and communication system is already in its standard form while communication with the dispatching is solved by using GSM modems (EPG 4.0x) with at least 3G (UMTS) modem. Vehicle equipment is based on other standard features such as  tableaus, LCD for passengers, command receivers, tachographs and others – see the following picture.

Pic. no. 14: Demonstration of vehicle installation with highlighted locations of OIS components in the vehicle.

The described solution includes the following units:

  • On-board system control unit EPIS – EPC 4.0x – a control unit of the EPIS 4.x on-board system equipped with functions of full passenger checking, control functions for information systems and also with communication functions. The performance of the system allows for integrating new functions or adding and controlling more peripheries.
  • LCD touchscreen driver terminal EPT 4.08B with the possibility of logging in with a contactless non-bank card (can include a reader) and with connection via one HDMI cable. The exact way of driver login will be defined based on the needs of the transportation company or it will be used as a backup option for passenger checking.
  • Modem GSM/GPRS/UMTS type EPG 4.0x that will be connected to the no-board control unit EPC via a USB interface. The modem ensures communication speed up to 30 Mbit/s in its LTE rendering.
  • Checking unit EVK – 5.0 BP – a unit containing a fast thermal printer with a prolonged lifespan and a combined reader of contactless cards (bank cards with possible off-line mode and non-bank cards). The unit also includes a large passenger color display with capacity touchscreen control for individual checking.

The checking and on-board computer system allows for many more additions that are not included in this description, e.g. remote tachograph reading, measuring temperature inside the vehicle, remote control of heating, measuring the time of engine operation, etc. These functions can lower operation costs in the future and they’ll bring more value to the system and further development possibilities.