USDOT SBIR Award on Smart Onboard Passenger Information System (Mar 20, 2017)

(March 20, 2017)

CLR Analytics Inc is recommended for a new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) phase I award, titled, "TrainAid: A Smart Onboard Railroad Passenger Information and Entertainment System". This is the 8th USDOT SBIR award CLR received since 2010. In this project, CLR collaborates with TransSight, LLC, a national leader in technology development, integration, and program management.  


In this project, we propose to develop a Smart Onboard Passenger Information and Entertainment System, TrainAid, to deliver real-time travel information and provide value-added information and entertainment services to railroad passengers through a smartphone application. The TrainAid smartphone application will provide quality onboard passenger information, obtained from various existing data sources, through audio, visual, and vibrotactile alerts to ensure Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance. TrainAid will also have the potential to include more attractive services, such as customized traveler information and alerts, a two-way communication platform between passengers and passengers/train conductors, and a platform for promoting multimodal transportation services and entertainment options.


Background and Objectives

Onboard railroad passenger information system (OPIS) is an electronic system that provides audio and/or visual information for passengers on a train, including real-time train status, boarding and station announcements, and safety and security messages. Currently, in the US, the trainline public address systems are mainly used by intercity and commuter rail systems to send information to onboard passengers and onboard signs and big-screen monitors have started being utilized to improve information dissemination. However, the information received by passengers is not guaranteed and consistent since the information and service from existing OPISs are diverse, and without a common standard and platform. It is especially the case for those passengers who are distracted by their onboard activities (e.g., using smartphone), vision or hearing impaired, language-impaired, or less familiar with the train services. The goal of the project is to address the above needs and provide quality passenger information and add-on services through a smartphone application with ADA compliant design.