Inner vehicle display LCD

Inner LCD panels for passengers – the cityscreen VCS type

Basic properties of inner vehicle LCD panels

Inner vehicle display panels (CityScreen) for passengers based on industrial LCD displays are designed for public transportation vehicles (both municipal public transportation and regional public transportation) to serve as an information system for passengers.  The LCD displays are produced using the all in-one-system, i.e. the inner vehicle LCD includes a control PC computer, an LCD display, power supply units and if requested also a GSM/UMTS modem for remote updates and surveillance.

They are produced in the following versions:

A widescreen LCD display is used as a display panel. This display can have resolution with a minimum side ratio of 5:4 (resolution 1280 x 1024), however different side ratios are also possible: 16:9 (resolution e.g . . . 1366 × 768, 1680 × 1050, 1920 × 1080), 16:10 (resolution 1440 x 900) and higher side ratios (resolution e.g. 1920 x 502 points).

Inner LCD panels can be controlled using all busbar types (Ethernet, RS 485, IBIS or our fast IBIS definition).  In the solutions supplied by our company, we prefer communication busbar with a superordinate unit of the Ethernet type (see the article „New vehicle conception“). The vehicle control unit is the superordinate unit.  The vehicle control unit can be:

  • Public transportation on-board computer – e.g. our EPIS 4.0x,
  • On-board computer with checking (also called machine or cash register) for regional public transportation – e.g. our EPIS 5 FC.

In the case of systems supposed to facilitate remote control of what is displayed on LCD panels (from public transportation dispatching or an advertisement server or from a server providing traffic information and daily news), our company offers 3 possible solutions that are all based on data transfers via GSM/GPRS/UMTS (the LTE system is in the development stage):

  • For municipal public transportation vehicles: remote control using the new EPG 4.0 GSM unit added to the EPIS 4.0x on-board computer.
  •  For regional public transportation vehicles : the EPIS 5 FC on-board computer with checking and an integrated required modem,
  • for regional public transportation vehicles it is also equipped with the  MSP 5.0 position surveillance unit.  Since this unit contains a fast GSM modem it allows for remote control of and data updates in the inner vehicle LCD panels,
  • also equipped with the VCS 230 GW inner LCD panel that can but does not have to be connected to the vehicle informatics and is controlled remotely by a server providing traffic information, news and advertisements (is being prepared). This LCD is equipped with an all-in-one solution and also with a fast GSM modem and a GSM antenna. It only needs to be connected directly to +24V power supply of the bus and it „downloads“all information from the server.

If a slow communication busbar – standard IBIS (1200 bit/s with the 7-bit alphabet) or our fast IBIS (up to 19200 bit/s with the 8-bit alphabet) – is used, the inner LCD display basically replaces inner LED panels, e.g. VLP 20×120. If a slower busbar type is used (IBIS or RS 485) the contents of the panel can be easily transferred using a USB Flash drive (automatic update in a few seconds).

Automatic updates can be performed using e.g. our EPIS 4.0x on-board computers and SW for depot management RADON (a part of the SPRINTER SW). In this case it is not necessary to perform manual updates.

Example of display cycles of vehicle LCD panels:

Individual window layouts can be changed by the user using the CityScreenInfo composer (see below), therefore it is not necessary to manually create hard to define *.BAT files. If the travel time allows it is possible to insert advertisements or traffic announcements, e.g. a dispatching message, into the cycles.

Vehicle LCD panels for passengers can use e.g. the following cycles:

  • Next stop „permanent“is displayed while the vehicle is on its way to the next stop. The following stop is placed on the bottom of the LCD panel and there is also a zone indication. The following stops are displayed above with the terminus at the top.
  • Stops at a request are indicated by a „Z“sign in a yellow circle. This symbol is used for all the following request stops and can be found on the left vertical axis.
  • When a vehicle is leaving a stop and the doors have just been closed the following stop is displayed for a set period of time. The name of the stop and the time of departure from the stop are displayed.
  • If a „we will stop at a request“button is connected to the on-board computer, passengers are informed by a message displayed on the LCD that their request has been received.
  • If there is enough time to enter the following cycle current time and date can be displayed.
Pic. no.6: Side inner vehicle LCD panel VCS 379 E.

Pic. no.6: Side inner vehicle LCD panel VCS 379 E

Inner vehicle LCD displays are designed in such a way that they can save energy during periods of no activity. For this purpose, the LCD panels are equipped with the following power supply control possibilities:

  • They can only be installed using the CS conductor from the EPIS 4.0x on-board computer (switching on/off is controlled by the on-board computer).  In this case, it is necessary to switch them on about 80 seconds before the doors are opened for the passengers to get in the vehicle at the initial stop.
  • They are connected to permanent power supply and they can be activated from the TpoE interface (our interface) or the PoE interface where the activation voltage is transferred to the LCD (see. the description of EPIS 5 FCC ).
  • Using the MSN command (Minimization of power consumption of the 24 V network) whose purpose is to minimize power consumption when there is no need to display anything but when it is convenient to keep the LCD panel in the standby mode. Thanks to the MSN command sent from the on-board computer (e.g. EPIS 4.0 x) via an Ethernet busbar it is possible to put VCS LCD panels in the mode of limited power consumption. In this mode, there is no needed for them to be fully functional, i.e. LCD display illumination is switched off while the control system (a PC computer) keeps working (power consumption is about 10W-30W per one display.

Using the MSN function is especially advantageous in two modes:

  • At a terminus where during a short break it is possible to turn off only LCD displays while the PC of the LCD panel keeps working and the displays can be activated at any time (a long starting time would be problematic),
  • During vehicle data updates, if the LCD panel is not connected to an independent power supply branch. In that case there is no need to switch on the LCD while the vehicle data is being updated.

The MSN mode (power consumption minimization) can only be switched off by using a new MSN command – release – or by switching off the system.  When power supply is renewed the LCD panel is switched on in a standard way.

General properties of LCD displays produced by our company:
Number of displayable colors 16,7 M
Type of display illumination LED
HW decoding MPEG 2
Connectivity Ethernet 100 Mbit (RJ-45)(other types are also possible – IBIS, fast IBIS, RS 485)
Inner processor frequency 1,00 GHz – single-core industrial PC
Control computer memory micro SD – 8GB, DDR2 – 1GB
Operation temperature of  the electronics from -30°C to +70°C
Operation temperature of the LCD display from 0°C to +50°C (minimum range, otherwise at a request)
Storage temperature of the LCD display -20°C up to +60°C (minimum range)

SW for creating scripts of LCD panel behavior – CityScreenInfo

Our company supplies a specialized SW called CityScreenInfo that can be used to create scripts (for individual stretches) for LCD panels. The software has a graphic user interface that allows the user to create and manage scripts for CityCsreen LCD panels in a quick and easy fashion.

The CityScreen program makes it possible for the user to prepare scripts consisting of mpeg 2 and 4 videos including picture formats jpg, bmp … it is also possible to set what data is to be displayed at a specified time.

Basic function of the LCD panel behavior manager/composer:

  1. The user can create LCD panel behavior scripts. If it is necessary to modify a script it is possible to create a copy of the whole script, i.e. if the user wants to create new criteria for the script or if they just need to modify a few pages. It is possible to create an independent copy of any script using the menu in the picture no. 3: „Adding, editing, deleting, copying and exporting scripts“.
  2. Standard functions also include creating (composing) user pages directly in the editor environment. It is possible to define a page template that can be inserted into a script. After it has been inserted the template can be edited and it behaves like any other page. Creating a page template can be seen in the picture no.4.
  3. It is also possible to use the editor to insert texts, pictures, colored surfaces into the scripts. The inserted texts can also be dynamic (time, current stop, previous stop …), they can also be aligned (center, left, right) and it is possible to set the color of the font, backgrounds, the size of the font, whether the font is to be bold or Italic. The user can see a preview of the page directly in the editor, see the picture no.5.
  4. The editor also allows the user to create page display criteria. As can be seen in the picture no.6 it is possible not only to set the time and stretch but also to insert a criterion in the form of a logical expression. It is possible to insert expressions manually, i.e. write them or use a menu where all available variables are easily accessible.

The „CityScreenInfo“program is supplied free of charge with vehicle LCDs for passengers.