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Via Garibaldi 8

Where Are We With Automated Announcements on Buses?

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48 minutes ago, paulrivera said:

"Ppplllllleeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssssssseeeeeeeeee Eeeeeeeexxxxxxxxxxxxiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttttttttttt tttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuu ttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhheeeeeeee rrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrr ddddddddddooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"

I went through that on the Bx3 once..... It was one loooonnnngggg trip to Washington Heights that day.

I remember going through that a few months ago on the S79. Annoying af. I was really tempted to use the S53 instead to get to Brooklyn.

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53 minutes ago, Rick44 said:

Idk if those flaws will be fixed in a few weeks lol. Idk if they're adding the transfers in short order either.

I hope they do, especially since a few of the buses may head to Quill Depot in the tourist-heavy Midtown Manhattan. If those guys end up getting on a new bus and no transfers are being played at major intersections, then they will be confused and their first ride may be their last. Just saying.

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Prior to the bus stops with subway connections, the screens should show countdown clocks for the station. It wouldn't even require anything on the subway department's end, since there are feeds that can be tapped into.

Of course, this can be disabled in areas where it's not generally needed, such as near Times Square and Penn Station.

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I remember when Yukon just got automated announcements on the SBS NG's (Jan-Feb 2017), Yukon took all of their SBS buses off the S79 SBS and put them on local routes, I remember taking the S57 and the program had school stops added even if it wasn't a school tripper. So New Dorp bound buses would be one stop off after Bradley/Brielle and Port Richmond bound buses would be one stop off after Mill/Tysens and 2 stops off after Bradley/Brielle. They never seemed to fix the issue even though people were complaining about the automated announcements saying wrong stops. Now when Bus 4019 (the only SI bus that has automated announcements but is not SBS wrapped (It was unwrapped sometime in late-2017)) comes around, the automated announcements are never played. 

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On 7/6/2018 at 8:11 PM, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

They're always intermittent.  They appear on a bus or two, then it disappears. It's like a trial run that never ends.  <_<

Maybe it was a pilot period or something

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3 hours ago, P3F said:

Prior to the bus stops with subway connections, the screens should show countdown clocks for the station. It wouldn't even require anything on the subway department's end, since there are feeds that can be tapped into.

Of course, this can be disabled in areas where it's not generally needed, such as near Times Square and Penn Station.

Aren't the bus stops shown using odometer readings and not through any internet connection?

The issue I see with that is that it's a relatively large amount of information to convey verbally, and with bus stops every two or so blocks you don't have a lot of time to say a lot.

On top of that, IIRC a big reason why countdown clocks are placed where they are is because the last thing the MTA wants is a stampede down subway stairs by people rushing for their train.

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8 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

Indeed that makes sense.. I think Microsoft updated the Runtime languages not so long ago. Great observation.  I was just playing with some of the TTS options on Mac super realistic why I kept that possibility open.  

Thought of a good alternative to whatever TTS program the MTA decided to go for: Google Cloud Text to Speech. 

The same thing running the very human voices for Google Maps and Assistant (technically called WaveNet) is openly available to all developers now so perhaps someone in the MTA (or whoever is contracted out to install the screens) can develop an API tailored for use for these screens? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's not a fan of a TTS voice that is expected to have their voice 'crack' every mid sentence or so (I'm looking at you C40LF screens). Plus it'll still be cheaper and time saving than having Sara Weaver pre-record the hundreds of routes and thousands of stops this city has.

Edited by RTSTdrive
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7 hours ago, RTSTdrive said:

Thought of a good alternative to whatever TTS program the MTA decided to go for: Google Cloud Text to Speech. 

The same thing running the very human voices for Google Maps and Assistant (technically called WaveNet) is openly available to all developers now so perhaps someone in the MTA (or whoever is contracted out to install the screens) can develop an API tailored for use for these screens? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who's not a fan of a TTS voice that is expected to have their voice 'crack' every mid sentence or so (I'm looking at you C40LF screens). Plus it'll still be cheaper and time saving than having Sara Weaver pre-record the hundreds of routes and thousands of stops this city has.

 

Yep, We're looking into that product for a Web platform were pitching for. Looks fairly good. So these buses have cellar connections along with GPS? One thing with anything cloud-based is connectivity. I know this isn't a very data-heavy build. But if a bus loses data connection that could have a major effect on the system. I don't know how the system works entirely but I'd take it there using some type of geofence using GPS coordinates? Connected to stops ID the bus drives to that ID zone the system speaks. GPS/GLONASS signals are way more reliable. Unless it's A assistive system (AGPS). If the stop ID is hardcoded on the bus itself the system could still work without a data connect. Think when you open Maps on your phone and it knows your location even if the map isn't loaded. Just the raw coordinates. That might be the one weak point. If I were building it out that'd be area i'd focus on. Maybe locally caching could be away around? I'd have to take a closer look at the whitepapers. To be honest, 5G is prob going to make all of this an after thought anyways in a few years its a all cloud future.  Anyone know the hardware on the bus? Is it apart of the route display system?

 

Edited by RailRunRob
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3 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

 

Anyone know the hardware on the bus? Is it apart of the route display system?

 

IIRC from a post from years ago, all buses since the NG Hybrids have the CleverDevices IVN which is responsible for containing PSAs/Automated Announcements, info for the route displays, and (at one point GPS) for BusTime. It was really only a matter of programming it into the IVN.

Not sure if that's truly the case now with the ones found on the Novas and newest Xclesiors but the screens should still be tied to an IVN onboard.

Edited by RTSTdrive
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