If you’ve taken the bus in the summer, you know it can get hot while you wait on your ride, even if there is a roof over the stop. Researchers at the University of Seville have devised a way to keep you cooler while you wait.
As temperatures around the world get warmer due to climate change, keeping cool in the summer is increasingly not just a matter of comfort. For the prototype in a climate-controlled chamber, 500L of water were cooled with a chiller and used as a thermal reservoir to reduce temps in the bus stop during the day. Pumps circulate the water through panels when a rider approaches the stop, cooling the space by ~8˚C (~14˚F) over a 20 minute period. Pumps for the system and lighting for the stop will be powered via solar panels and keep the system self-contained.
The amount of cooling offered by the system can be controlled by the flow rate of the water. The researchers plan to use Falling-Film radiant cooling in the outdoor version to replace the chiller to cool the water at night. They also say the system can be used for radiant heating in the winter, so it isn’t just for hot climates.
If you want to know how to survive a wet bulb event or want a better way to determine your bus route, we’ve got you covered there too.
[Stefan Schüller] was a fan of the LED signs that display arrival information for the trams and buses in their city of Zürich. [Stefan] was having trouble finding a source to purchase the signs so, instead, decided to build one himself.
[Stefan] decided to recreate the 56×208 single color 2mm dot pitch display with an 128 x 64 P2 RGB LED screen respecting the same 2 mm pitch. The display is driven by an ESP32 DMA RGB LED matrix shield utilizing a HUB75 RGB LED matrix library, all being powered from a 5 V 4 A power supply.
In addition to driving the LED matrix display, the ESP32 polls Zürich’s public transportation API and then parses the XML for the relevant information. Since [Stefan] wanted to match the fonts as closely as possible,
he created a new font from scratch, including the bus and accessibility icons. The new font was encoded into a glyph bitmap distribution format (BDF) that was then converted to work with Adafruit’s GFX library, with [Stefan] creating a custom conversion tool, called bdf2adafruit, to do the last leg of the conversion.
Since the LED matrix had full color capability, [Stefan] decided to add a little extra flourish and color code the transportation lines with the official tram colors. All source code is available on his GitHub repository for the project, for those looking for more detail.
We’ve featured DIY builds of public transportation feeds before. With the ubiquity of low cost RGB LED displays and public APIs, hopefully we’ll see many more!
The UK will get its first full-size autonomous bus service this summer, if final road testing that begins in the next two weeks goes according to plan.
Known as Project CAVForth for the UK government’s Center for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and the Forth bridge, over which the buses will travel, it is said to be the most complex test of autonomous on-road mass transit yet undertaken in Europe. The full-size single-deck motorcoaches, five in total, will ply a 22-km (14-mile) route into Edinburgh from Fife, crossing the famous Firth of Forth on the Forth Road suspension bridge. The buses will carry about 36 passengers each and run at SAE Level 4 autonomy, meaning that a safety driver is optional under good driving conditions. Continue reading “Automate The Freight: Autonomous Buses To Start Operation In UK”
Wrapping up a multi-year project to provide free WiFi on all public transportation, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology (MSIT) announced that a total of 35,006 buses had been equipped nationwide.
Previously, subscriber-based WiFi had been installed on subways and in subway stations. It was provided privately by two phone carriers and free only for their subscribers. The coverage was spotty and slow, and in 2017 the government took over and implemented a better system. With this announcement, the whole public transportation system is now covered with stable and free WiFi.
We also noticed that the government has released the details of the 220,000 WiFi access points to the public. This includes the location, IP address, and RSSI data for use by people and companies wanting to develop location-based services. What is the state of free WiFi access points in your region, and does it extend to public transportation? Do you find it reliable, or do you use your data plan when out and about?
[Adrian] and [Obelix] wanted to have an easy way to know when to expect the public transportation, so they hacked an LED dot matrix display to show arrival times for stops near their dorm.
They found the display on Ebay with a defective controller which they replaced with an ATmega328p. They connected the display to the internet by adding a small TP-Link MR3020 router and connecting it to the ATmega328p via a serial line. Their local transportation office’s web page is polled to gather wait times for the stops of interest. All rendering of the final image to display to the dot matrix display is done on their PC, which then gets pushed through to the MR3020, which in turn pushes it out to the ATmega328p for final display.
[Adrian] and [Obelix] warn about setting proper watchdog timers on the display driver to make sure bugs in the controller don’t fry the dot matrix elements. Their ATmega328p dot matrix driver code can be found on [Adrian]’s GitHub page.
Check out a video of the display in action after the jump.
Continue reading “Public Transportation Display”
[Knuckles904] was tired of waiting for the bus. His town had installed GPS units on the buses so that riders could track their locations via the Internet so he knew there should be a way to avoid the wait while also never missing the bus. He developed a sketch for an Arduino to check the bus location and notify him when it was on its way.
This method saves him from leaving his computer running. It parses the text data from the public transportation website and updates both an LED display, as well as a Twitter feed. Now he can monitor several different bus lines via the hardware at home, or though a cell phone if he’s on the go.