METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR DISTRIBUTING PASSENGER INFORMATION IN
A VEHICLE TO MOBILE TERMINALS
The invention relates to a method for automatic transmission of individual text messages containing passenger information to mobile radio communication terminals within a vehicle.
The transmission of information in the form of short messages (so-called SMS) to mobile terminals is known. However, hereby, the message is transmitted to only one individual recipient by using a mobile radio network for transmitting the data.
Thereby, it is disadvantageous that these types or short messages can only be sent to previously known mobile radio communication numbers, not, however, to any number of, in particular unknown, mobile radio subscribers.
Further, it is not possible, to transmit, for example, passenger information to any number of mobile radio communication terminals in order to provide current information to passengers. This becomes clear in the following example: A passenger enters a train with a designated direction of travel without knowing precisely if it stops everywhere, in particular at the desired location and/or station. This occurs, for example, especially in the case of regional trains that do not stop everywhere and no information is announced by loudspeaker, or, if an announcement is made, due to ambient noise or problems of understanding (language, hardness of hearing, unfamiliarity with the place, etc.) it is conditionally difficult to listen or understand. Further, it would potentially be of interest to the passenger to know, which is the current and/or next station,
intermediate station, end of line station, as well as the expected time of arrival at this/these particular station(s), and also potentially indicating the track number.
It is the object of the invention to provide a method for the transmission of passenger information to mobile radio communication terminals by means of which a transmission of current information to any number of mobile radio communication terminals becomes possible, without the requirement that the mobile radio communication number for each mobile radio communication terminal must be known.
This object is solved in accordance with the invention by a method according to claim 1. Advantageous further developments of the method according to the invention are indicated in the subordinate claims. Further, the object is solved by an information system according to claim 6.
It is proposed a method for automatic transmission of individual text messages containing passenger information to mobile radio communication terminals within a vehicle wherein the messages are generated by a central passenger information system arranged in the vehicle when an announcement is to be directed to the passengers, that the messages are transmitted by one or more transmission modules arranged in the vehicle via a near field radio connection to a plurality of mobile radio communication terminals, and wherein the messages are received on the mobile radio communication terminals and displayed thereon by means of an application. The method not only refers to a transmission but also to a distribution of information to a plurality of mobile terminals simultaneously without the need to address the mobile terminals individually by a specific mobile phone number.
The method in accordance with the invention for the distribution of information, for example, within vehicles, to mobile terminals is characterized in that, by means of radio transmission such as near field communication technologies (e.g. RFID, NFC, etc.) information content can be distributed in vehicles (e.g. trains, subways, busses, airplanes, etc.) to mobile terminals, wherein this distribution is centrally controlled. The mobile terminals communicate by means of an
application with a central information and control system. The application also serves to display the information on the mobile terminal.
In a particularly preferred application of the method, the transmitted information is travel time information and/or arrival time information of public transportation vehicles, in particular information about current and/or next station and/or intermediate stations and/or end of line station and/or expected arrival times and/or available connections and/or track number, airport gate and the like. Even information about delays in transportation service can be provided.
A travel connection can refer to a connection of the same type of transportation service or to another transportation service, in particular to a transportation vehicle of the same type or a different type. On a train, for example, information about connecting trains can be transmitted to the mobile radio communication terminals of the passengers, but alternatively or cumulatively also information about connecting bus lines of air planes at the destination train station/ airport train station or the like.
Preferably the public transportation services are trains, subways, trams, busses, airplanes, boats, ferries or the like.
In a particularly preferred embodiment, the near field radio communication connection is formed by NFC and/or RFID and/or Bluetooth and/or an infrared interface and/or WLAN and/or WPAN or a combination of such.
Thereby, NFC designates the standard of the so-called near field communication, which is a transmission standard for the wireless exchange of data over short distances.
RFID is an abbreviation of the English term Radio Frequency Identification. RFID means identification with the help of electromagnetic waves. In particular, RFID makes the automatic identification and localization of objects and living organisms possible and thereby makes the capturing and storing of data significantly easier. An RFID system consists of a transponder with a unique
identifier that is located at or in the object and/or living organism and, hereby, identifies it, as well as a reader for reading the transponder identification. The reader produces an electromagnetic field that causes the transponder to transmit its identifier. The identifier is then received at the reader. The reader comprises software (a micro program) that controls the actual reading process, and RFID middleware with interfaces to additional data processing systems and databases.
WLAN is the abbreviation for Wireless Local Area Network, a wireless local radio communication network. WPAN is the abbreviation for Wireless Personal Area Network, a wireless personal network. Wireless Local Area Network designates a local radio network. In contrast to Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), WLANs have more transmission power and range and generally offer higher data transmission rates.
Bluetooth is an industrial standard according to IEEE 802.15.1 that was developed in the 1990s by Bluetooth SIG for establishing radio communication networks of devices over short distances (WPAN).
IRDA describes physical specifications and communication protocol standards of an infrared interface for the exchange of data by means of infrared light (850 to 900 nm) for short distances. IRDA describes a variation of optical data transmission in space.
Preferably, a message is generated by a central information and control system based on current data and the message is broadcasted by the one or more transmission modules. Thereby, in particular position data can be taken into consideration that is determined by means of satellite navigation, in particular by GPS.
The passenger information system is arranged in a vehicle of the aforementioned type and comprises a central information and control system and a guidance system, wherein the central information and control system is arranged to generate messages containing passenger information based on current data provided by the guidance system, wherein the system further comprises one or
more transmitting modules by means of which a message can be transmitted to a plurality of mobile radio communication terminals via a near field radio connection and wherein the message is displayed on the mobile terminals by means of an application.
The passenger information system is thus arranged to execute the method in accordance with the invention.
The term passenger designates generally any kind of passenger, in particular, also an air passenger, as the application of the method and the passenger information system is not limited to street-bound or track-bound transportation service vehicles, and its application is possible not only within the respective means of transportation, but also in the area of train stations, airports, harbors and the like, in particular at tracks, gates or piers.
A particularly preferred example of an application in a train is explained in the following with reference to the figures. In the figures:
Figure 1 depicts a schematic diagram of a passenger information system in a train;
Figure 2 depicts a flow diagram indicating downloading and installing the application for carrying out the invention on a mobile radio communication terminal.
According to today's safety-relevant requirements, trains 1 are equipped with a train guidance system 3 (TGS), which ensures communication between train 1 and the central train control station. Hereby, the position of the trains can be supervised at all times and, conversely, data can be transmitted to the train. Further, trains that are equipped with GSM-R 5, can increase the GSM network coverage in trains and thus make services of mobile radio communication providers usable, where otherwise, due to network impairments (shielding, tunnel, etc.) this would not be possible. The proposed solution requires, as can be seen in Figure 1 , communication with a train guidance system 3 (TGS) and/or
installed GSM-R, which is controlled by a novel central information and control system 6 (CICS) by means of interface 2. Hereby, data is transmitted from (CICS) 6 to the sending/receiving modules 9 in rail cars 8 of the train, by means of interface 7. Optionally, the data could be coded such as, for example, by train number, and may contain information about current station and/or next scheduled stop(s) with potentially expected arrival time(s), track number, direction of travel, starting train station, destination train station, etc.
These transmitting/receiving modules 9 can - depending on configuration - send wireless data to the mobile telephone via R-GSM or via short distance radio communication technologies like NFC, RFID, Bluetooth, WLAN, IRDA, etc., which are locally installed in the train. The mobile terminals communicate with CICS 6 by means of an application that also serves to display the information. If only a few details are available (e.g. train number) the full details could be retrieved (e.g. next stop, route, etc.) using Quicklink by means of, for example, the WEB/WAP portal. Hereby, it would also be conceivable that the mobile terminal is requested to download the application giving access to the information services via the WEB/WAP-Portal, or via the short distance radio transmission (NFC, RFID, etc.), as shown in Figure 2.
Optionally, the data of an installed satellite navigation system GPS 4 can be used for localization of the train 1. The cell-based localization, for example, in the case of GSM, allows only rough localization, and a more precise localization using only GPS 4 is affected because of shielding in the train 1 , 8 or in tunnels, and failures may occur. In a combination using GSM, UMTS, etc. or GPS 4, however, additional relevant information can be obtained and/or linked.
In the following overview it can be seen by way of example how the specified data and the messages generated with them, such as, for example, train number, current and/or next station(s), etc. which are transmitted to a mobile telephone by the CICS using transmitting/receiving tags, and are then displayed on it as text or graphic by means of a suitable application. The sequence and scope of the information (e.g. optional intermediate stations or scheduled arrival times, a portion of a map as a cut-out graphic, etc.) can, however, be configured as
desired. This method can also find application in similar areas such as, for example, subways, trams, busses, etc.
Example of a transmission of train information to the mobile telephone:
Table generated Radio transmission Display on by CICS by means of transmitting/ mobile
receiving tags telephone
Further, such a method would also be conceivable locally at the respective station, in addition to the textual notices at notice boards or displays and acoustic announcements, informing at train platforms about track related information, next train/s arriving and/or departing.
In addition, the content could be downloaded while waiting at train stations. This would be primarily be supporting when during travel no position information is available via the TGS 3, and alternatively, the current position is determined by means of GPS 4, and correspondingly, this GPS information is linked in the CICS 6 with the passenger or travel data.
The interface 7 between the individual rail cars 8 and/or between rail car 8 and power car 1 and/or also between two power cars, can be designed using cables or using the sending/transmitting tags.
The special advantage of the method in accordance with the invention and systems is in the intuitive operation and the accustomed usage environment of the mobile telephone. A certain piece of information such as, for example, the next station can be obtained quickly from the central information and control system, CICS 6. The cell-based localization such as, for example, in GSM, permits only positioning that is too rough, and more precise localization only by means of GPS is impaired by failures due to the shielding in the train or in the case of tunnels. In a combination, via GSM or GPS, however, additional relevant information can be obtained and/or linked.
An optional integration of GPS is easy to accomplish. The assembly of the transmitting/receiving modules must be performed depending on design and depending on the radio technology used at certain distances, if necessary, short distances, if these radio technologies are, for example, NFC, RFID, etc.
The data and control of the system respectively can be transmitted between power car and rail car and/or in further sequence between the rail cars via an existing cable network (plug-in connection), which can most often be found next to the coupling device, optionally, however, it could also be accomplished by radio transmission. The presence of compatible radio transmission solutions in CICS and mobile terminals such as, for example, NFC, RFID, Bluetooth, WLAN, IRDA, etc. and a corresponding application is required. The text length per piece of information (e.g. train number) should be limited for reasons of performance, in some radio transmission technologies to, for example, 20 characters (UTF-8). On the other hand, optionally, in the case of radio transmission technologies with higher transmission rates, even large volume multimedia data could be transmitted to mobile terminals.
In Figure 2, a flow diagram for downloading the application for information services to mobile terminals is shown.
The installation of the required application on the mobile terminal begins with start 10 designating the download of the application for information services to the mobile terminal.
In the second step 20, the download of the application is performed by using WEB / WAP-Link as a result of a user action.
In the next step 30 it is tested if the used mobile terminal has compatible, activated hardware, and if yes, a test is performed in the next step 40 to determine if the mobile terminal is in the radio communication range of the transmitting/receiving tags (transmitting/receiving module). If the test performed in step 40 is confirmed, the download takes place in the next step 50 via transmitting/receiving tags (transmitting/receiving module) if such are accessible, i.e. allowed by the information system.
Subsequently, in the next step 60, a test as to whether the corresponding application is not yet available and installed on the suitable mobile terminal is performed, whereupon, if necessary, the installation of the application on the mobile terminal is performed as a result of a user action in step 70.
Subsequently, in the next step 80, a test is performed as to whether the installation on the mobile terminal has been successful and whether the application can now be executed, i.e. can be used in order to use the information services of the information system on the mobile terminal that is being used.
If this test is confirmed positive, the downloading of the application and its installation is concluded in step 90.
If during testing of said steps 20 to 80 another result in the yes/no condition tests occurs, either individual steps as per Figure 2 are skipped, or a return to a previous step takes place and a repetition of this and subsequent steps is performed, as is shown in Figure 2.
1 Power car
3 Train Guidance System (TGS)
4 Satellite Positioning System (GPS)
5 GSM-Railway (GSM-R)
6 Central Information and Control System (CICS)
7 Interface to rail cars
8 Rail car
10 Start: Download and installation of application
0 Download of application using WEB/WAP-Link (user action) to the mobile terminal and testing
0 Test: Does the mobile terminal have suitable hardware for installing and using the application and is it activated
0 Test: Is the mobile terminal in the radio range of a
transmitting/receiving tag (transmitting/receiving module)
0 Test: Is the download of the application to the mobile terminal allowed
(released) by the information system
0 Test: Is die application not yet available and installed on the suitable mobile terminal
0 Installation of application on mobile terminal (automatically or following a user action)
0 Test: Has the installation onto the mobile terminal been successful 0 End