Since 1997, the Leipziger Verkehrsbetriebe (LVB) GmbH has been using the PERDIS system for personnel dispatch, and since 2006, the module DepotManagement for manual vehicle dispatch. In 2013, the bus depot Leipzig-Lindenau had to be downsized due to the expansion of an adjacent road. There were fears about an increase of shunting problems, wrong parking and time exposures for manual logging. In order to avoid this, the vehicle dispatch system was expanded.
Leipzig relies on Depot Management System by initperdis
Increased efficiency due to automated operations and visualised vehicle location
In April 2013, initperdis won the tender and received the order to implement a visualised vehicle location system for the depot Leipzig-Lindenau. The contract included the expansion of the personnel and vehicle dispatch system MOBILE-PERDIS by a Depot Management System (DMS) with automated vehicle location. As the exact location of the vehicles down at the individual parking slot has been required (also in the interior hall area) and only a limited budget was available, they decided for a wireless location system. All buses were already equipped with transmitters of Agilion as part of the LVB project “Technisches Zentrum Heiterblick”.
Therefore, it was a logical step to install the Wireless Location System (WLS) of Agilion in the Lindenau depot. initperdis was acting as the general contractor.
Together with the LVB, initperdis developed a system design specification where all procedures as well as the type and scope of the required hardware and software were specified. The depot has historical buildings which have a certain charm, but also posed specific challenges for the installation of the new technology. There’s space for a total of about 135 vehicles. Now the vehicles are all running in one direction. Parking is organised in lanes, “First in – First out”.
The WLS has a radio controlled communication infrastructure consisting of antennas at known locations, mobile transmitters on buses, as well as management software and data interfaces to the DMS. Localisation is done through run-time based distance measurements for all vehicles in the covered area. Their locations can be determined exactly up to 0.5 m.
In order to cover the tracking requirements, 53 antennas were installed (27 anchors and 26 gateways with WLAN connection to transmit the data). In the exterior area, some anchors were equipped with solar panels to save cabling.
The installation work had to be adjusted to accommodate LVB’s daily operations schedule, this is why it was provided by the customer itself. The system was designed for high availability and a localisation reliability of more than 99%.
Visualisation of the tracking data
The DMS view (TrackMap) for the dispatchers was designed by the customer and matches the actual site plan. The areas highlighted in blue are for “area localisation” where only the vehicle entry is detected and logically visualised. The dispatcher can see the vehicles that are in these areas. It is not necessary to know the exact location. This operating mode requires less hardware installation. Therefore the detection of exits became largely unnecessary. Vehicle exits are visualised once the vehicles are detected in a subsequent area. The two fueling lines and the washing bay are hidden from view.
However, it is guaranteed that the dispatcher can always see whether these stations are occupied or available. It is possible to locate the buses’ exact parking spot in the parking areas because here the installed localisation equipment covers the whole area. The areas are mapped which allows for the vehicles to be located and visualised at their exact parking spot. The LVB buses are 12 m and 18 m long so the parking lots are divided up in units of 6 m to present the vehicle capacity at a realistic length.
Depending on where a vehicle is located, various functions can be triggered. Entries and exits are matched with current blocks and are displayed to the dispatcher in entry and exit lists. In case a vehicle is located in the fueling station, the vehicle tank can be reset to “full”. The remaining tank filling can be cross-checked against the kilometres to be driven in the assigned blocks. In case washing cycles are set up, the system can relay the request and schedule a passing through the washing bay.
At the fuel station, the attendant instructs the driver whether or not to wash the vehicle and where to park it. With the future installation of information boards this could also be displayed, for instance, directly at the entry. It would also be possible to display this on the onboard computer via an interface. Outside the working hours of the fueling station attendant, the fueling station is the handover station and the vehicles are parked by the repair shop staff.
For block assignments the system features an automatism that incorporates all current vehicle locations – in addition to parameters like vehicle type and qualification. The dispatcher can also dispatch manually, either with reference to blocks or parking spots.
This concept has been well accepted among LVB dispatchers right from the start. The interaction between software and localisation components is working very well. The DMS is designed to operate across all depots and can therefore be expanded to other LVB depots in the future.
Of course, LVB was convinced by the solution which has been integrated fully into the MOBILE-PERDIS system. They now have one system that fulfils all requirements of personnel and vehicle dispatch making many operational processes more efficient.
MOBILE-DMS is offered as a module integrated into the overall solution MOBILE, but also as a stand-alone solution – and the international interest is huge.
INIT Mobility Software Solutions GmbH