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9 CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW The literature review revealed that a wide variety of reports, The first demonstrations of using fleet management tech- papers, articles, and press releases have been written about nologies, such as CAD/AVL, to provide real-time informa- providing real-time transit information on mobile devices. tion were conducted in Europe in the mid-1990s (2). These The literature is divided into the five dimensions as outlined projects included Advanced Transport Telematics in Urban in chapter one. Sites with Integration and Standardisation; Telematics Appli- cations in Bavaria, Scotland and Others; and QUARTET The first step of the literature review was to conduct PLUS. One of the first U.S. applications of providing real- an online Transportation Research Information Services time transit information on mobile devices using AVL data (TRIS) search. This TRIS search yielded 31 documents, was described in “Wireless Internet Access to Real-Time several of which were reviewed and used as input for this Transit Information” (3) and “Real-Time Bus Information report. The second step was to obtain and review articles, on Mobile Devices” (4). Although the technology discussed press releases, and website information directly from agen- in these papers is somewhat outdated, the resulting applica- cies and mobile services vendors across the world. The third tion is still operational and has expanded to a variety of new step was to review FTA, FHWA, and TCRP research reports. mobile devices (5). Finally, other papers and articles were obtained from various sources, including the following: In the United Kingdom, the Real Time Information Group reported on the number of stops covered by virtual • TRB annual meetings, dissemination media, including mobile media, in 2008 (6 ): • APTA conferences, • Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) America annual In 2008, approximately 25 local authorities [LAs] curr- meetings, ently use a form of virtual dissemination to make RTPI [real- • ITS World Congress meetings, and time passenger information] available to the public. The two • Internet searches. most common choices of virtual dissemination methods were SMS and the LA website with 24 and 20 LAs offering this All documentation reviewed for the synthesis is listed in service respectively. By far, the greatest number of stops are Appendix A. covered by SMS (6, p. 25). Second, one underlying technology not usually thought of as facilitating the provision of real-time information is UNDERLYING TECHNOLOGY t rip-planning software. However, the integration of the The literature reviewed in this dimension covered many of aforementioned underlying technologies and trip-planning the technologies required to generate the information that software to provide real-time information has been docu- will be disseminated on mobile devices, including automatic mented, is being demonstrated, and is operational in specific vehicle location system (AVL) software, computer-aided dis- locations. One application of trip planning with real-time patch (CAD) software, software that calculates the real-time information using mobile devices, called the Transitr sys- information from data generated by CAD/AVL systems, and tem, was demonstrated in three transit agencies in the San software that provides the real-time information to mobile Francisco Bay area: devices. First, as stated in TCRP Synthesis 73, an AVL sys- It combines a user’s geographic location with real-time tem facilitates the “use of schedule adherence and/or loca- t ransit information provided by transit agencies to tion data to develop real-time predictions for bus arrival determine the fastest route to a desired destination. It times at stops, and providing these predicted arrival times f uses real-time data feeds with the existing technology of schedule-based transit trip planners (TTPs) currently and other service announcements to the public using various available online. . . . The system predicts the shortest methods” (1). Most of these underlying technologies have paths between any two points in the transit network been the subject of numerous reports and articles; this syn- using real-time information provided by a third party bus arrival prediction system, relying on GPS [global thesis describes these technologies briefly in chapter three.
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11 FIGURE 3 The concept of interoperable intermodal traveler information. [Source : (13, p. 3).] Figures 3 and 4 show the interoperable intermodal trav- MOBILE DEVICE TECHNOLOGY eler information and RDSS concepts, respectively. The proliferation of mobile phones and smartphones has created a challenging environment in terms of developing real-time transit applications for mobile devices. “Ana- lysts contend that the mobile market remains in a state of flux, leaving plenty of room for these companies to build momentum if they can create something that catches the attention of consumers” (14 ). This statement describes the state of the mobile phone and applications market as of May 2010, with a new mobile device being introduced every few weeks, and with devices having more and more capabilities. For example, as of May 2010, numerous new mobile phones and smartphones were introduced to the market—each from various manufacturers with various operating systems being offered by various mobile phone providers (15). Mobile technologies can be divided into the follow- ing categories: type of mobile device, handset manufac- turer, and mobile device operating system. The literature describes three major types of mobile devices: mobile phones with no Internet access (but with the capability to send/receive text messages), mobile phones with Internet access (and text messaging), and smartphones with the capability to run mobile application programs. The wide variety of mobile phone and smartphones on the market as of May 2010 included the following, which are listed for i nformation purposes only and not as endorsement of any k ind (16 ): FIGURE 4 Concept of the In-Time Regional Data/Service Server (RDSS). [Source : (13, p. 5).]
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12 send an SMS longer than 160 characters, but a longer message is divided into separate messages each with • Apple • Motorola 160-characters.) Once a message is sent, it is received • Casio • Nokia by a Short Message Service Center (SMSC), which must then get it to the appropriate mobile device (19 ). • Dell • Palm • Fujitsu • Pantech An SMS message can be sent to a mobile device that is • Garmin-Asus • Research in Motion not turned on—the mobile network operator will store the • Google • Samsung SMS message and send it when the mobile device is turned • Hewlett Packard • Sanyo on (20 ). • High Tech Computer Corporation • Sharp There are two types of SMS: pull and push. Pull tech- • LG • Sony Ericsson nology is a situation in which someone makes a request • Microsoft • Vertu for information by means of SMS, and then the requested • Mitsubishi i nformation is provided to the requester through SMS. The reverse is known as push technology, in which a system There are several operating systems used by the mobile pushes data to those subscribed to receive specific infor- devices manufactured by these companies. As of May 2010, mation. Push technology is a situation in which the request the most common mobile operating systems, listed for infor- for a given transaction is initiated by a central system. mation purposes only and not as endorsement of any kind, Often, push services are based on information prefer- were as follows (17 ): ences expressed in advance by the user. For example, users may “subscribe” to receive various updates regarding the • A ndroid by Google specific transit route or line they take on a regular basis. • bada from Samsung Electronics W henever new content is available regarding those specific • BlackBerry by Research in Motion routes or lines, the system will push that information out • iPhone OS by Apple to the users. • Maemo (Debian OS) by Nokia • MeeGo from Nokia and Intel Real-time transit information provided by means of • Palm OS, Garnet, and WebOS SMS is typically sent using a push approach—the customer • Symbian by Nokia requests specific information by sending a code to a pre- • Windows Mobile by Microsoft determined common short code (CSC), a five- or six-digit number. For example, in Chicago, a customer can request Given the large number of handsets and operating sys- real-time bus information for a specific stop by sending “cta- tems, their detailed characteristics vary widely. For example, bus 14624” to 41411 (the CSC), where 14624 indicates the communications technology [e.g., code division multiple bus stop at the intersection of Fullerton and Pulaski. access, global system for mobile communications, number of pixels on the display, number of colors on the display, SMS is desirable over e-mail because “95% of text mes- standby/talk time (e.g., battery life), and GPS availability] sages are read within four minutes (compare that to email varies widely among all available mobile devices. which is 48 hours)” (21, p. 1). Further, if an agency uses an SMS vendor, it is recommended that the vendor “offers an There are three major mobile channels through which real- SLA (Service Level Agreement) with guaranteed response time transit information is provided: mobile web/Internet t imes for support issues (SMS happens in real-time. (including mobile social networking websites), short message T hink ‘American Idol’ or the ‘Dave Ramsey Show,’ it’s all service (SMS) (a.k.a. text messaging), and mobile e-mail. live)” (21, p. 5). However, guaranteed response times may be challenging to honor because there can be situations Mobile Web is the term used when the Internet is beyond the SMS vendor’s control (e.g., if there is a carrier accessed by means of a cell phone, PDA [personal digital or network outage). assistant], or other device with Internet capabilities (such as the Sony PSP™ or the Apple iPod Touch™). With the i ntroduction of new phones and increasing technological In 2005, a mobile device application of real-time tran- capabilities, mobile web use in the United States has sit information by means of SMS called PredictBus was g rown to over 95 million users in 2008 (18 ). developed in Kuala Lumpur (22). As shown in Figure 5, SMS is PredictBus is “a mobile information service which is fully i ntegrated with multiple technologies and information into the transmission of short alphanumeric text-messages to one seamless system. The forecasting system is the ability a nd from a mobile phone, fax machine and/or IP [internet to track the current location of a particular bus and esti- protocol] address. As of September 2010, messages must be no longer than 160 alphanumeric characters mate the arrival time of that bus to particular bus stop” a nd contain no images or graphics. (It is possible to (22, p. 1).
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13 FIGURE 5 PredictBus System modules. [Source : (22, p. 91).] a service that gives you the next bus times anywhere in CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MOBILE INFORMATION Scotland, England and Wales straight to your mobile Beyond the survey results presented in chapters three, four, phone. It is designed to work on mobile phones that have and five, there are myriad reports that describe the character- internet” (24 ). istics of real-time information provided on mobile devices. First, the factors governing providing any information on mobile devices that should be taken into consideration include the following (23): • Mobile screen “real estate” (i.e., dimensions), • Type of browser used by the mobile device (because different browsers display information differently), • Handset/hardware limitations in terms of memory and processing speed, • Costs of mobile Internet access and SMS use for customers, • Access to mobile phone networks, and • Minimum of customer interaction with application. Second, typical formatting of real-time information on mobile devices is shown in Figures 6–8. Figure 6 shows the mobile site providing real-time information by FIGURE 6 Real-time information available through Traveline. means of Traveline in the United Kingdom. “Nextbuses is [Source : (25 ).]
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14 fare by means of the application and save journey details for later use. KAMO users can track the progress of any buses, trams or underground trains included in the real-time posi- tioning-based monitoring. The service also enables journey planning and tracking the planned route by means of mobile phone. Travel news concerning problems or changes to pub- lic transport is also available by means of the KAMO appli- cation. The mobile service developed by VTT is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Once loaded into the mobile phone, KAMO can be accessed using the phone’s menu. RFID remote reading—featured by Nokia’s 6131 NFC model, for example—enhances the speed of FIGURE 7 Traveline search for stops in Yorkshire. FIGURE 8 Real-time departures for Leeds University stop in Yorkshire. Real-time information provided by SMS requires that the usage. Touching the RFID tag with a mobile phone opens the mobile user send a text message formatted in a specific way application on the phone’s display without the user having to a five- or six-digit CSC. The user will receive a text mes- to access it separately through the menu. Tags can be used sage back containing the requested real-time information. for mobile travel ticket purchases or accessing stop-specific An example of real-time information through SMS is shown timetable information (27 ). in Figure 9 (26 ). Another example of providing real-time information on mobile devices was developed to provide “a route-choice support system which helps passengers make appropriate decisions when train operation is disrupted. The system helps passengers decide whether to take the detour routes to their destinations or wait for the resumption of disturbed opera- tion and continue their journey on the originally scheduled route” (29, p. 12). Figures 11 and 12 describe this system. Third, the literature describes the reliability of mobile dis- semination methods. For example, the use of SMS to provide real-time information must consider the reliability and time- liness of delivering the message. The delivery of a single text FIGURE 9 Example of requesting and receiving real-time message depends on the reliability of many devices. “Each transit information by means of SMS. device in the path is highly specified, requires high perfor- In Helsinki, Finland, real-time transit information on mance, automatic recovery mechanisms and dependability. mobile devices was deployed in 2006, as shown in Figure 10. The user experience drives the success of the operators and suppliers. Suppliers must deliver high quality systems over The Mobile Guide for City Traveller (KAMO) is a new and over again” (30 ). Providing real-time information by mobile application that offers journey planning and stop- means of SMS is analogous to using SMS to deliver emer- specific timetable information. Passengers can also pay their gency or mission-critical messages owing to the require-
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15 FIGURE 10 (continued ). KAMO system description. [Source: (28 ).] suitable replacements for real-time voice emergency com- FIGURE 10 K AMO system description. [Source: (28 ).] munications. SMS and MMS messaging that exists on cell ments of timeliness and reliability of the message delivery. phones today were not designed for real-time, 2-way com- “Neither the existing Short-Messaging Service (SMS) nor munications and do not provide the level of reliability and the existing Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) are the capabilities that are available in a voice 9-1-1 call (such FIGURE 11 Information required by passengers during FIGURE 12. Route Choice Support System (Mobile version). disrupted train operation. [Source : (29, p. 2).] [Source : (29, p. 8).]
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18 customers’ perceptions and behavioral responses to infor- technology” (46, p. 10). The breakdown of individuals sur- mation technology-based public transport information (45). veyed is as follows: This research examined behavioral changes resulting from the use of IT-based applications including real-time informa- • 31% resulted from a random sample of pedestrians and tion on mobile devices. The paper describes user response to bus riders in the Oakland corridor and downtown; public transport information by means of telephone, mobile • 35% were students, faculty, and professionals in the devices, the Internet, and at-stop displays. Several examples higher education field; and of providing real-time information by means of SMS and • 34% were members of developmental, cultural, and wireless application protocol (WAP) in Europe showed that, t ransportation advocacy groups. for the most part, mobile technology was accepted, and that there were changes in travel behavior based on the use of the The use of SMS was most preferred by 30.2% of those information provided on mobile devices: surveyed, and the use of the mobile website was most pre- ferred by 8.9%. The success of mobile devices for travel information depends on technology and user-friendliness. Once Third, we explored the enhancement of mobile real-time the resistance to using the new technology is overcome information by using innovative tools including location- t hrough exposure and familiarity—by means of for example participation in a field test—acceptance of based services (LBSs) and social networking. The literature t ravel information delivered by means of mobile devices describing this area is plentiful, and several of the papers on r ises to a high level when the technology is applied to this subject are briefly presented here. various interfaces and media. T he possibility of being able to receive travel information Webster Lewis describes the relationship between the use by means of mobile devices shifted the point in time that of social media and proliferation of mobile devices: i nformation requests were made from pre-trip to on-trip. T hat most of the enquiries concerned journeys starting T here is an inseparable link between social media and within 30 minutes showed that most of the enquiries were mobile devices. As the capabilities of these devices done with the intention of using the PT [public transport] expand, we can expect that updating social-network sites alternative. Commuters or frequent travellers on a by means of mobile will continue to increase and may route greatly appreciate service-disruption information eventually even surpass the wired web. Social networks available through their mobile devices. such as Twitter and Facebook are remarkably dependent on mobile access for the value they provide to their users. T here are some important psychological aspects Mobile status updates are, by their very nature, timelier, t o receiving more personalized, and up-to-date more relevant and potentially more interesting to their i nformation. Owning a mobile device and knowing readers. Today, every major social network offers its users that the information service provides constant access to a range of mobile services, from mobile web access to up-to-date information about the traffic situation made downloadable mobile applications. Although consumers respondents feel more secure. It was shown that the w ith high-end devices may be the primary users of i nformation displayed on mobile devices shortens the these mobile services, some social networks also offer perceived waiting time, and made participants feel more a number of SMS-driven features that allow consumers secure. Furthermore, the availability of the information to stay engaged by text, even on low-end mobile phones. service makes people feel better informed about the PT T his represents a big opportunity for brands to maximize system. Feeling informed is also usually accompanied by their efforts and move consumers easily between their a n increased sense of “being in control,” which can be mobile and social media experiences. seen as a positive. W hile social media campaigns are becoming more Some indications were found that up to 10% of people common, we often see that when agencies and brands receiving PT travel information via mobile devices begin their engagement with social networks, they could be influenced in their choice of transport mode. act as if their entire audience is on a computer—the Psychological factors, though they cannot be readily mobile aspects of social media are frequently neglected. quantified, are nonetheless very important—evident in A nd the reverse can also be said about many brands’ expressions such as “feeling informed about the actual i nitial mobile marketing efforts: They often neglect to situation means having control”—and contribute to a effectively integrate the power of mobile social-media more attractive image of PT in general (45, p. 10). elements (even when these elements already exist) to f urther engage consumers and fans of the brand (47 ). In Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University, students developed a real-time application called My Ride for the One example of real-time information on social network- shuttle bus services that are operated in and around campus ing is the case of the MTA in New York City (48). After (46 ). This system provides real-time information by means a ceiling collapse in the 181st Street Station on the Num- of several media, including mobile devices. ber 1 subway line in New York City, New York City Transit ( NYCT) opened a Twitter account to report the details of An in-person and online survey of 148 people in the Oak- the repairs. “While some might say the level of detail was land corridor and downtown was conducted to “measure mind-numbing, the updates represented an unusual level attitudes and perceptions in regards to public transit and of transparency for New York City Transit, which is often
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19 viewed as an opaque, even unfriendly, bureaucracy.” Paul J. • Ninety-three percent of the respondents reported that Fleuranges, Vice President for Corporate Communications they were likely to walk to a different stop based on at NYCT, stated, “All in all I do think it has been a success, information from the application (versus 77% who as it allows us to provide information to customers by means used other OneBusAway tools); of a communications platform that allows for direct contact • In a comparison of “how long they took to perform with interested riders.” a typical information lookup with the assistance of a location-aware map-based interface, a map-based Other innovative services that are facilitated by the use interface without location information, and a text- of mobile devices and contribute to an agency’s communica- based search tree from the existing OneBusAway tions strategy are LBSs. LBSs use the customer’s location mobile web interface, the location-aware map-based (available on many mobile devices) to provide more per- interface is fastest for navigating to a target stop” (49, sonalized real-time information on mobile devices. Several pp. 17–18). systems that use LBSs to provide real-time transit informa- tion are described in the literature. OneBusAway, which was developed at the University of Washington, “provides real- time transit information and commuter tools for Seattle-area bus riders through a variety of interfaces, including web, phone, SMS and mobile devices” (49, p. 1). OneBusAway provides route maps and timetables using Web 2.0 enhance- ments to facilitate searches, real-time arrival information, service alert notification, and trip planning. (The term Web 2.0 is commonly associated with web applications that facili- tate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user- centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with each other as contributors to the website’s content, in contrast to websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of informa- tion that is provided to them. See http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Web_2.0.) One unique feature of OneBusAway is that mobile applications have the potential to integrate location sensing technologies, such as GPS and WiFi-localization, with the real- time transit information system. In the other interface modalities, much of the interaction involves trying to determine where the users currently are and what routes and stops they are interested in. With the mobile apps, the location information can make narrowing the context of interest much easier, so that relevant information can be found more quickly (49, p. 7). A location-aware iPhone application was developed for OneBusAway that “leverages the localization technology in modern mobile devices to quickly provide users with real- time arrival information for nearby stops and improved FIGURE 13 OneBusAway iPhone application. [Source : (49, context-sensitive response to their searches” (49, p. 13) (see p. 14).] Figure 13). The application indicates the direction of travel of transit vehicles for each stop on the map, which is impor- The literature describes several location-based real-time tant for distinguishing between two nearby stops on oppo- transit applications on mobile devices in Europe. One such sys- site sides of the street. When users click on a stop, they see tem is called Seekstr (50). This system takes into account the the stop name and the set of routes servicing that stop, help- following four factors: the customer’s location, the customer’s ing them further disambiguate between stops. Once users preferences, the customer’s calendar, and the current time: identify the correct stop, they press the blue arrow button on Seekstr offers positioned, seamless, personalized and the stop detail to bring up real-time arrival information for situation-aware value-added services. Since 2006, that stop (see Figure 14). This localization application was the service has been designed and implemented evaluated after it was deployed and the evaluation yielded in a unique Swedish “Triple Helix” constellation, involving authorities [Swedish Road Administration, the following: Stockholm Public Transport (SL)], ICT [information
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20 Figure 15 shows Seekstr’s design, which includes SL, the and communications technologies] and consulting companies (Eniro, Idevio, Info24, Saab Security, WSP public transport authority in Stockholm. Analysis & Strategy) and a university (BTH) (50, p. 1). Another innovative application in Europe was designed to provide real-time information to visually impaired trav- elers (51). Because the focus of the Attraktiv Kollektiv Transport for Alle (AKTA) project is to make public trans- port and related information accessible for everyone, it uses mobile devices to provide real-time information to visually impaired individuals as follows: 1. The traveller gives a message by the web or SMS to the real time system about a wanted trip with the express bus from a particular bus stop at a certain time of departure, and how many minutes before (i.e., 10 minutes) arrival the real time information is wanted. 2. W hen the bus is approaching the bus stop, the real time information will be sent to the traveller’s mobile phone in accordance with the order. 3. Additionally the passenger who has required assis- tance gets a SMS for instance two minutes before the bus arrives. At the same time the real time system sends a message to the driver of the bus that a person in need for assistance will enter the bus at the relevant stop. 4. As an additional service AKTA can send a SMS to the passenger two minutes before the arrival at the destination. 5. The bus driver will also receive a message two min- utes before a person who wants assistance is going to FIGURE 14. Real-time arrival information at a particular stop. leave the bus (52). [Source : (49, p. 14).] FIGURE 15 Technical design of the Smart Mobile Travel Planner Seekstr. [Source : (50, p. 3).]
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21 The main objective of the project was to make it easier for square and junaio. These applications are described in chap- visually impaired persons to travel with public transport. By ter six. the use of a real time system for buses and mobile telephones among the users, the visually impaired persons are ensured Finally, an innovative unique application running on a to get on board on the correct bus departure and off at the unique mobile device was described by Joe Hughes in the right bus stop (52). San Francisco area (54). As shown in Figure 16, he has a Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Bluetooth watch that displays “the Beyond social networking and LBSs, agencies are seri- next few SF Muni bus arrival times for a nearby stop. The ously examining their role with respect to providing infor- code to fetch the arrival times is running on my Droid phone, mation on mobile devices. At MTA NYCT, Sarah Kaufman and communicating with the watch using Marcel Dopita’s stated that transit agencies are no longer just transportation OpenWatch software for the Android platform” (54). providers—they are information providers (53, p. 1): As transit riders seek information both on-the-go and at transit facilities, the onus is upon our agencies to provide informative, yet cost-effective, tools. We are now responsible for a range of pushed real-time information to customers, a broad set of available schedules, service information and news online, and visible and audible information at subway stations and bus stops and in vehicles (53, p. 3). In May 2010, MTA announced that it was opening its data to application developers: N YCT has massive potential for cutting-edge Web 2.0 initiatives, including a public Application Programmer Interface, which would allow web developers to create web-based software using NYCT’s data; a blog, which would discuss NYCT projects and industry news; and a plethora of possible systems associated with the automated bustracking system, which is currently in development (53, p. 4). Two unique applications that combine social network- FIGURE 16 Sony Ericsson MBW-150 Bluetooth watch, ing and LBSs are Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART)’s showing the next few SF Muni Bus arrival times for a partnerships with the location-based mobile network Four- nearby stop. [Source : (54 ).]