Dead Horse Times: Things that should be automated

Screenshot of iNap.
Screenshot of iNap.

From EngineerScotty comes an idea for do-it-yourself automated stop announcements (ASA).  As a passenger, I find automated stop announcements quite helpful, as they are most often clearer, louder, and more consistently called than operator announcements.  Bus and train operators also appreciate ASA.  It is understandably difficult for them to pay attention to driving, traffic, and passengers and remember to call out regular announcements.

Even when there are automated announcements, I often use my iPhone to follow along a planned route to see where I need to pull the cord and get off the bus if I am unfamiliar with a city or transit route.  iNap is one application that develops this functionality.  It allows the user to set an alarm to be notified when their stop is near.

Since not every vehicle has ASA, EngineerScott ponders a hypothetical mobile application to call out the names of stops.  Drivers would plug their mobile device into the vehicle’s audio system.  I doubt there’s a sufficient market for this, however.  It would certainly present an interesting situation for agencies, with operators taking technology implementation into their own hands.

Read the full post, “Things that should be automated,” on the Dead Horse Times.

Aaron is the founding principal of Trillium Solutions, Inc. He brings experience that includes 12 years of web-development with 8 years in public transportation, with knowledge of fixed-route transportation, paratransit, rural transportation, and active transportation modes. Aaron is a recognized expert in developing data standards, web-application design, digital communications, and online marketing strategy. He originally developed Trillium’s GTFS Manager, and has played a key role in the development of the GTFS data specification since 2007.