Vehicle check-in

uvod-odbaveni-170514We offer passenger check-in systems for both public transport and public line transport. In cities, it is mainly based on validators and self-service passenger check-in supported by EPIS on-board computers. For public line transport, check-in is based on a compact all-in-one or split-machine design, where a bank or non-bank card reader, customer display, QR code reader and EPP ticket printer are connected to an on-board computer (in this case a new type of on-board computer). The check-in system is complemented by the multi-user system "Backoffice II"  (new version 2017) for processing transactions and preparing data for check-in.

For public transport, we offer three basic concepts of check-in systems:

  • Fully self-service check-in for public transport, where the passenger fully checks-in himself using contactless cards, including bank cards (see the principle in Figure 1),
  • self-service check-in with driver control for urban transport (usually smaller systems) where the passenger checks in with the driver and where the driver either performs the self-service check-in or directly sells the tickets (see article'Self-service check-in with the driver'). It is particularly suitable where there are a small number of check-in tariffs
  • for public transport services where only the driver checks in the passenger. There are two basic versions to choose from, the compact EPIS 5FCC or the split EPIS 5A-FCS based on an external EPP unit.

Urban check-in concept

For check-in in urban areas, where the passenger checks in himself using a contactless smart card, we offer 2 options for the arrangement of an on-board check-in system based on components manufactured by us (on-board computers and validators).

Check-in using markers

For simpler systems, we offer passenger check-in by ticket marking using "classic" ticket marking. The new ETM 4.0 ticket marker ensures that the ticket is marked by printing a "ticket" after it has been inserted. The marker can be controlled via Ethernet, e.g. by our on-board computer EPIS 4.0x, or other on-board computers. Compared to competing products, it features smaller dimensions and a colour customer display.


Check-in with multiple validators in the vehicle

This type of basic self-service check-in with multiple in-vehicle validators, where passengers board through all doors, is based on:

  • EPIS on-board computers, which simultaneously store a database of transactions and run the passenger check-in application and the firewall for GSM communication,.
  • EVK 50.xx  validatorsenabling the processing of contactless smart cards including bank cards (the validators are subordinate to the on-board computer and share the transaction database with it - in the picture the validators do not contain a printer),
  • Ethernet switches with the possibility of powering the validators directly via UTP cable and the possibility of controlling the power supply from the ECU 08PO on-board computer (valid for validators without printer),
  • GSM modem EPG 4.0 with (UMTS or LTE communication for online transactions - especially for bank cards) or with UCUs - version 2.0, 4.0 and version 5.0


Driver-only validator check-in

An example of a simple vehicle setup where self-service check-inis performed on anEVK 5.0B validator (without ticket printing) and with driver control (validator is only at the driver's side and passengers board only through the front door):
  • EPIS on-board control unit - e.g. EPC 4.0B or EPC 4.0C -this is an EPIS 4.x on-board control unit supplemented with control functions for full passenger check-in, control functions for information systems and also with communication functions. The performance of the system allows further integration of new functions or the addition and control of other peripherals.
  • LCD touchscreen driver terminal EPT 4.08B with the possibility of driver login using a BČK reader (non-banking) and connection to the on-board computer via one HDMI cable.
  • GSM/GPRS/UMTS/LTE modem type EPG 4.0x, which is connected to the EPC control unit of the EPIS on-board system.
  • TheEVK - 5.0 BP check-in unitthis is a unit that includes a fast thermal printer with extended lifetime and a combined contactless card reader (bank with off-line and non-bank mode). The unit also includes a large colour customer display with capacitive touch control for individual check-in.


Check-in in public transport

Check-in in public line transport uses on-board computers for check-in, also supplemented by check-in elements - i.e. a printer, various types of readers (bank or non-bank cards, QR codes, etc.) and a customer display. This set-up is popularly called - "machine". This addition can be made in different ways of system arrangement namely:

  • all in one - all required components form one unit (except antennas)
  • split variant - the system consists of several units (at least the on-board computer and the check-in unit)

One important difference between city and regional check-in is the size of the screen suitable for passenger check-in, where in regional check-in the driver must be able to "see" more information at the same time, which places demands on a larger driver screen - typically 10" or larger.Our components designed for regional public line passenger transport use a thermal ticket printer with extended life, contactless card reader (bank or non-bank), battery power backup (on demand), multiple digital annunciators, GPS unit, UMTS or LTE modem for on-line data communication, integrated WiFi, insulated black box on payments and other features including new "back office II" software

Arrangement of the information and check-in system in public line transport

A simplified description of the functions of the different elements of the on-board system proposed by us (they are indicated by numbering in the following figure (most of which we are able to supply):

  1. On-board computers with passenger check-in- thisis where the application that operates the functions will run:
    • communication of information to passengers (optical and voice)
    • Passenger check-in - allowing the choice of printing a ticket or checking in with a smart card
    • informing the driver of the location of the vehicle in relation to the timetable
    • transmission of the vehicle's location to the control room, including the number of passengers in the vehicle
    • in carriages, controls the updating of all databases and files in the vehicle
    • enables voice and data communication with the dispatcher
    • management of announcements for the blind
    • enables connection of the vehicle's camera and sensor systems
  2. LCD touch screen terminal for the driver - the size of the screen (8" to 10.4" is recommended) guarantees the display of all necessary data concerning the route and passenger check-in (display of the price list for ticketing). This information alternates according to the current driver and vehicle activity (information, communication and check-in).
  3. Thecheck-in unit - an integrated ticket printer and contactless card reader - can be designed as a peripheral unit allowing the information to be read from the contactless card and combined with the ticket printer or it can be integrated into the LCD terminal (machine) on the bus dashboard. The check-in system is complemented by a second high luminous colour LCD display for the passenger and a separate digital annunciator.
  4. Communication of the vehicle with the control room -this communication by GSM/GPRS/UMTS/LTE networks provides all types of service:
    • check-in with the fact that it communicates to the control room the number of passengers, the composition of tickets, can transmit the "blacklist", daily sales and others.
    • Information, allowing the dispatcher to send information directly to the driver or passengers and to set the frequency of repetition.
    • control and communication, in that it tracks the location of the vehicle and allows data and voice communication between the carrier's dispatcher or ITS and the vehicle.
  5. Vehicle to depot communication - again provides all three types of service, except that it is mainly used for bulk transfers to and from vehicles in depots (duplicates point 4). As these are mainly file transfers in the WiFi band (free of charge) it reduces the requirements for paying for SIM cards. This communication is particularly suitable for the use of tachographs or LCD passenger advertising terminals on which targeted advertising is projected.
  6. Thesound system inside the bus allows passengers to announce information about stops, connecting connections at junctions, fare changes, zones or other general regional information.
  7. Thesound system in the outer area of the bus at the first (boarding) door allows important information to be communicated to boarding passengers (service changes or fare changes) and can also be used for blind and partially sighted citizens.
  8. Frontal direction indicators (LED panels, boards) communicate information to passengers about the line number, the destination station and, if applicable, the directional stops (it only makes sense to display information about directional stops if the bus is stopped at the stop, not while moving). For this type of information we have developed LED panels with so-called dynamic fonts, which allow automatic adaptation of the text to the selected window according to defined rules.
  9. Theside direction indicators (LED panels, boards) communicate information to passengers about the line number, the destination station and the intermediate stops. Exceptionally, it may also communicate information regarding check-in (business trip - do not board).
  10. The rear number (LED panel, board) communicates information about the line number (maximum three-digit number). It can also display simple two-line texts, e.g. "out of service".
  11. Theinternal display (LED panel) can be in the form of LEDs (now standard) or internal LCD panels. It allows messages about lines, routes or stops. In terms of check-in, it can display the fare zone or the time for assessing the validity of time tickets. It can also communicate important regional data or information about changes in traffic, connections, etc. We recommend a minimum size of 2 lines of text for displaying information.
  12. In-vehicle bus - integrates all data transmissions over the vehicle, i.e. both check-in and information or control. For already equipped vehicles, the IBIS bus or more recently the RS 485 bus is used as standard. For new vehicles, we recommend the Ethernet bus for fast communication with the on-board computer with check-in. This can, for example, allow a reversing camera to be connected to the system.
  13. The system for receiving commands from the blind can provide information for the blind about the direction of travel and directional stops, or inform the driver about the boarding or alighting of a blind person. A new version of this receiver has also been developed for the Ethernet bus.
  14. A vehicle camerawith the ability to rotate can have two functions:
    • easy observation of passengers in the vehicle compartment and with the possibility to capture passengers in the door area or to capture situations when the vehicle is damaged.
    • In the event of the driver pressing the "emergency" button, the camera will start capturing what is happening in the driver's compartment and possibly send images to the CED.
    • It will allow a remote view of the dispatcher into the vehicle.
  15. Reversing camera - activated only when the vehicle is reversing and the image is displayed on the driver's terminal display.
  16. Vehicletemperature gauges - to check compliance with ITS temperature standards, vehicles will be equipped with two temperature sensors. The temperature readings from these sensors will be averaged in the on-board computer and communicated to the control room. The dispatcher will be able to specify the minimum (maximum) temperature tolerated in the vehicle for a given period.

General characteristics of check-in systems

The check-in system generally complies with:

  • Temperature requirements for vehicle operation (-20°C to +70°C) - for higher negative temperatures this means that the vehicle will have to be kept in RESET for a period of time to allow the interior to warm up with "waste" heat,
  • high performance requirements - due to the INTEL ATOM E 640 or ARM type processors used at a clock frequency of 1 GHz (it has at least 10 times higher performance than commonly used on-board computers in the Czech Republic - e.g. PXA) - when using ARM processors they can be multi-core,
  • low power consumption and therefore does not require fan cooling,
  • large memory capacities - micro SD FLASH 8 Gbyte or 8/32 GB SSD and DDR RAM of at least 1 Gbyte (DDR2 or DDR3 memory),
  • universal use for pay-as-you-drive systems,
  • the possibility of using a contactless bank card,
  • direct radio communication with control rooms or settlement centres.