INIT’s driver assistance system provides smooth navigation for bus drivers in Utrecht and Almere
Successful system extension at Keolis Nederland allows for more flexible use of personnel as well
Keolis Nederland’s Chief Operating Officer / Dept CEO Richard Bruns (left) and Regiodirecteur OV Utrecht/Almere Cornelis Uijl (right) as well as INIT’s project and account manager Joost Dijkstra presented the newly-installed driver assistance system. (image: Keolis Nederland)
Karlsruhe, July 2nd, 2019
Keolis Nederland, a private provider of public transport in the Netherlands, has recently introduced a driver assistance system from INIT in all buses in Utrecht and Almere. Recently, in the course of an informational event in Amersfoort, which included a live demonstration, the transport provider presented the system to a large number of representatives from both province and community. This system will not only give new drivers peace of mind on their routes but will also support experienced drivers when they are facing detours or road closures. The solution is incorporated via INIT’s PC-based Ticket Printer and On-Board Computer, EVENDpc2, in 350 buses.
Keolis has been relying on an Intermodal Transport Control System from INIT since 2007. Over the years, the system was adapted to the varying requirements time and again. The most recent functional extension was the driver navigation. Due to the modularity of INIT’s system, it is easy to add extensions all the time. The driver assistance system is unlike classic navigation systems because it was developed especially for use in public transport. It shows the position of the bus and gives visual and, depending on the setting, audible directions about the route to the nearest bus stop.
The advantages of the solution are obvious: New drivers, who don’t know their routes yet, are given valuable support by the driver assistance system while navigating on new or unknown roadways. “We provide peace of mind for our drivers”, explained Richard Bruns, Chief Operating Officer and Dept CEO at Keolis. The introduction of the new route assistance system is not supposed to replace the drivers’ route knowledge training, but is meant to complement it. By doing so, Keolis can reliably use less experienced drivers and will become more flexible in its personnel planning.
However, not only the new drivers will benefit from the assistance system while navigating in traffic but the more experienced ones will do so as well: They receive navigation information about changes of routes caused by detours or closures. As Keolis is facing a number of construction projects and road closures in its operational area in the years to come, Bruns knows that Keolis is going to benefit from the introduction of the driver assistance system: “We will really profit from the system when we are dealing with detours.”
Another group to benefit in the medium term is Keolis’ customers: Nowadays only the drivers can see detours on their screens but there are plans to show detours on displays to the passengers as well. They will get information about which route the bus is about to take and why there is a detour. So, the system will not only help in giving the driver peace of mind but also in improving customer satisfaction. Joost Dijkstra, responsible for the project at INIT, considers it to be an important step: “A system that supports the driver will always help the passenger as well. We are glad that we could support Keolis with this successful project.”
The introduction of the driver assistance system is not the only action taken that will relieve the drivers, though. Keolis now casts out cash from the Utrecht and Almere buses – tickets bought from the driver can be paid exclusively with bank or credit card. This “cashless payment”-method, too, has been integrated seamlessly into the ticket vending services of INIT’s EVENDpc.