“Transit Matrix” by Xerox is revolutionizing CAD/AVL
Operating a big city public transit system is a management challenge of staggering proportions. With the large and complex systems necessary to run it, it has generally been a challenge to collect and distribute the necessary data to make effective real-time decisions. That’s changing rapidly with the latest generations of advanced computer-aided dispatch and automatic vehicle location (CAD/AVL), such as the recently introduced Xerox Transit Matrix, which offers new levels of interoperability between systems that provides drivers, dispatchers, mechanics and others with a 360-degree view of what’s going on with their vehicles.
A decade or so ago, CAD/AVL technologies were disparate collections of systems. The Transit Matrix brings those streams together in a modern interface to make it simpler for transit personnel to do their work. The new system supports cellular and Wi-Fi communications, as previous generations relied on low-speed radio links to communicate.
“One of the things we’ve done here is really enhance the ability for our solution to communicate with a wide variety of different types of equipment and different user groups,” said Marc Gordon, vice president of Business Development. “At a high level, this solution does a lot behind the scenes.”
“The goal with our Transit Matrix is to provide a proactive decision making solution for all our clients by turning DATA into useful visualization reporting with drill down capability. With real-time and ad-hoc reporting capability, TMS is capable in highlighting the areas that requires action” said Afthab Zainudeen, senior solution architect for public transportation at Xerox.
The Transit Matrix’s backbone is an integrated on-board vehicle processor designed specifically for the public transit agency. The open-standards processor provides the computing power needed to receive various data streams and deliver them to a standard operating dashboard monitored in real time by dispatchers, drivers, mechanics and supervisors. The Xerox solution comes with a companion vehicle console featuring a touch screen that is the operator portal to route and performance information, vehicle health status, on-board cameras, turn by turn maps, and fare box information.
“ Our onboard solution offers an easy integration to systems such multiplex system, APC, Dest Sign, Wheel Chair, Cameras, Fare media, and much more. We at Xerox are taking the initial steps in making sure we comply with TRANSIT
COMMUNICATIONS INTERFACE PROTOCOLS (TCIP) standards,” Zainudeen said.
By developing the processor around open standards, Xerox is future-proofing the system investment by allowing for future upgrades through software, Gordon said.
The Transit Matrix represents a “significant evolution” from prior generations of technology. “It’s now become an elaborate communications system that provides up-to-date views of the situation, with technologies securely integrated into one box,” said Maria Waddy, product launch manager.
The bottom line is, it greatly enhances the ability of agencies to provide high-quality service and manage costs.
“One thing that’s important in the world of public transit is data,” Waddy says. “In some cases, decision-makers don’t have enough and want more. They also want to have tools to help them make decisions in real time. We have the tools to do that.”