(19)
(11)EP 3 726 189 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
21.10.2020 Bulletin 2020/43

(21)Application number: 19169645.9

(22)Date of filing:  16.04.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G01G 19/04(2006.01)
G01G 19/44(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Bombardier Transportation GmbH
10785 Berlin (DE)

(72)Inventors:
  • O'SULLIVAN, James
    Beeston, Nottingham NG9 4HA (GB)
  • PARRY, Benjamin
    West Bridgeford, Nottingham NG2 7PS (GB)

(74)Representative: Alatis 
23 rue Lavoisier
75008 Paris
75008 Paris (FR)

  


(54)A METHOD FOR DETERMINING LOADING DATA IN CONNECTION WITH A LOAD SUPPORTED BY A TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE


(57) A method for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, a system implementing a such method, a corresponding program, a corresponding computer readable medium and a transportation vehicle provided with such system.




Description

Field of the invention



[0001] The present invention pertains to the field of methods and systems for monitoring loads supported by transportation vehicles such as buses, trains, aircrafts or vessels. The invention concerns especially a method for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle.

Background of the invention



[0002] Some safety procedures implemented by operators of public transport infrastructures imply the need of constant monitoring of the loads supported by transportations vehicles. To facilitate those tasks, computer systems using stereoscopic cameras placed at doorways for counting passengers and data generated using air pressure measurements performed by equipment operating in relation to suspension means of the transportation vehicle have been implemented. However, if one wants to determine accurate loading data, stereoscopic cameras arranged at doorways are not enough. Indeed, putting aside the failure rate of stereoscopic cameras (between 5-15%), such systems that use cameras placed only at doorways are not able to monitor the flow within a transportation vehicle, which, in the context of trains, clearly impacts the loading status (e.g. passengers' moves between cars or carriages). In addition, a major problem of relying also on data generated using equipment operating in relation to suspension means of the transportation vehicle is that such data is not always accurate and/or available in real time. In consequence, actual systems are not appropriate for accurately determining the load supported by a transportation vehicle, in particular if the transportation vehicle is a train or any vehicle in which a flow of passengers within the vehicle may occur.

Summary of the invention



[0003] Accordingly, the goal of the invention is to remedy these disadvantages. Specifically, the goal of the invention is to provide a method and a system that facilitate determination of the load supported by a transportation vehicle, in particular if the transportation vehicle is a train composed of one or more cars or carriages.

[0004] These goals are achieved by a first object of the invention which concerns a method for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, said method comprising the steps of:
  • obtaining a first portion of processing data, a part of said first portion of processing data being generated when at least one first detection device of detection means of a first type arranged in said vehicle generates a signal,
  • obtaining a second portion of processing data, a part of said second portion of processing data being generated when at least one second detection device of detection means of a second type arranged in said vehicle generates a signal,
  • obtaining a third portion of processing data, a part of said third portion of processing data being generated when a radiofrequency signal transmitted by a mobile device is received, and
  • determining said loading data by using said first portion of processing data, said second portion of processing data and said third portion of processing data.


[0005] The method according to the invention thus relies on several distinct data sources and may thus allow loading data in connection with a load of a transportation vehicle to be more accurately determined.

[0006] According to specific embodiments of the invention, said mobile device may be configured to pair with a beacon arranged in said vehicle. Accordingly, the method according to invention may consider how the load supported by the transportation vehicle is impacted by passengers present in the transportation vehicle.

[0007] According to specific embodiments of the invention, said first detection device may comprise a stereoscopic camera and/or an infrared sensor.

[0008] According to specific embodiments of the invention, said second detection may comprise a pressure sensor arranged with respect to a seat placed in said vehicle.

[0009] According to specific embodiments of the invention, the method may comprise the steps of:
  • obtaining a fourth portion of processing data, a part of said fourth portion of processing data being stored on a remote data storage facility, and
  • updating said loading data by using said fourth portion of processing data.


[0010] Accordingly, the method according to the invention may use an additional source of data for determining even more accurately loading data in connection with a load supported by the transportation vehicle.

[0011] Another object of the invention concerns a system for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, the system comprising means carrying out the steps of a method as described above.

[0012] According to specific embodiments of the invention, the system may comprise at least one computer and a data storage medium, in which at least one program for carrying out steps of the method carried out by the system is stored.

[0013] Another object of the invention concerns a computer program comprising instructions for carrying out the steps of a method as described above.

[0014] Another object of the invention concerns a medium which can be used in a computer and on which a program as described above is recorded.

Brief description of the drawings



[0015] Practicable embodiments of the invention are described in further detail below by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, which show:
  • figure 1, a schematic view illustrating the main components of a system according to the invention; and
  • figure 2, a block diagram showing some steps of a method according to the invention.

Detailed description of the invention



[0016] As illustrated in Figure 1, the system 100 for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle according to the invention comprises an information processing unit 101, comprising one or more processors, a data storage medium 102, input and output means 103 and, optionally, display means 104. According to some embodiments, the system 100 comprises one or more computers, one or more servers, one or more supercomputers and/or any combination comprising one of these computer systems. Preferably, the information processing unit 101 consists of a computer or a server provided with one or more communication interfaces and one or more pieces of software specifically designed and configured for carrying out the tasks and the steps described below.

[0017] In relation to some steps of the method according to the invention, the system 100 interacts, via a communication channel 200 that preferably includes a mobile communication network (e.g. GSM, 3G, 4G, 5G), with a first type of detection means 110. Preferably, the detection means 110 include at least one detection device, preferably a stereoscopic camera and/or an infrared sensor, and means for interpreting signals generated by such detection device and for generating data accordingly. Preferably, the detection means 110 are arranged in the transportation vehicle and communicate directly with the system 100 via the communication channel 200. Alternatively, or cumulatively, the detection means 110 are connected to an intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle (not represented), for instance a computer, which includes the means for interpreting signals generated by the detection device, generates data when the detection device of the detection means 110 generates a signal and transmits the generated data to the system 100. Alternatively, or cumulatively, data generated either by the detection means 110 or by the intermediate data processing system may be stored in a data storage medium arranged in the vehicle (not represented).

[0018] Similarly, in relation to other steps of the method according to the invention, the system 100 interacts, via the communication channel 200, with a second type of detection means 120. Preferably, the detection means 120 comprises a sensor, for instance a pressure sensor arranged with respect to a seat placed in the vehicle, and means for interpreting signals generated by the sensor and for generating data accordingly. Preferably, the detection means 120 are arranged in the transportation vehicle and communicate directly with the system 100 via the communication channel 200. Alternatively, or cumulatively, the detection means 120 are also connected to the intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle (not represented), which includes the means for interpreting signals generated by the sensor, generates data when the sensor of the detection means 120 generates a signal and transmits the generated data to the system 100. Alternatively, or cumulatively, data generated either by the detection means 120 or by the intermediate data processing system may also be stored in the data storage medium arranged in the vehicle (not represented).

[0019] Additionally, in relation to other steps of the method according to the invention, the system 100 interacts, via a communication channel 200, with mobile devices 130, for instance smartphones. The system 100 is thus able to send data to the mobile devices 130 and to receive data from them. This is particularly advantageous because some steps of the method according to the invention rely on data that is determined by means of functionalities implemented by additional components of the system 100 (not represented) bundled in an application which is hosted in each mobile device 130 and executed either punctually or continuously. Accordingly, when performing certain steps in accordance with these additional components, the mobile devices 130 interact with one or more beacons 140 arranged in the transportation vehicle by means of radiofrequency signals, preferably generated according to one of the Bluetooth standard protocols. Likewise, all beacons 140 are also compatible with the Bluetooth technology, that is they are all adapted for generating radiofrequency signals in accordance with one of the Bluetooth standard protocols. Preferably, the steps implemented by the mobile devices 130 in accordance with the additional components of the system 100 include at least a step of determining identification data of a closest beacon by performing measurements of the power of radiofrequency signals received from several beacons 140, and a step of transmitting this identification data to the system 100.

[0020] Moreover, in relation to other steps of the method according to particular embodiments of the invention, the system 100 interacts with a data storage facility 150, local or remote, either directly or via the communication channel 200. Accordingly, the system 100 may retrieve and extract data stored on the data storage facility 150.

[0021] All the elements described above contribute to enable the system 100 to implement the method for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, as described below in relation to figure 2.

[0022] In a step 201, the system 100 obtains, i.e. retrieves, extracts and/or determines, a first portion of processing data. Preferably, the first portion of processing data is generated when the detection device of the detection means 110 generates a signal. Then, it is stored on the data storage medium 102 upon receipt by the system 100. As previously mentioned, data may be generated either by the detection means 110 themselves or by the intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle which interprets the signals generated by the detection device of the detection means 110 and generates data accordingly. Alternatively, the first portion of processing data is retrieved by the system 100 from the data storage medium arranged in the vehicle on which it is stored either by the detection means 110 or by the intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle.

[0023] In a step 202, the system 100 obtains a second portion of processing data. Preferably, the second portion of processing data is generated when a detection device of the detection means 120 generates a signal. As previously mentioned, data may be generated either by the detection means 120 themselves or by the intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle which interprets the signals generated by the detection device of the detection means 120 and generates data accordingly. Alternatively, the first portion of processing data is retrieved by the system 100 from the data storage medium arranged in the vehicle on which it is stored either by the detection means 120 or by the intermediate data processing system arranged in the vehicle.

[0024] In a step 203, the system 100 obtains a third portion of processing data. Preferably, a part of the third portion of processing data is generated by the system 100 when a radiofrequency signal transmitted by a mobile device 130 is received. As previously mentioned, data received from mobile devices 130 may include identification data of closest beacons 140. Alternatively, the third portion of processing data may be generated by the mobile devices 130 themselves and stored on the data storage medium 102 upon receipt by the system 100.

[0025] In a step 204, the system 100 determines said loading data by using the first portion of processing data, the second portion of processing data and the third portion of processing data. To this end, the system 100 implements at least a step of reviewing the portions of data and a step of determining elements which are relevant in relation to the loading status of the transportation vehicle.

[0026] In a particular embodiment, the system 100 performs an additional step during which obtains a fourth portion of processing data. The fourth portion of processing data is stored in the data storage facility 150. Preferably, the fourth portion of processing data concerns elements which are also relevant with respect to the loading status of the transportation vehicle. For instance, the fourth portion of processing data may include data generated in relation to equipment operating in relation to suspension means of the transportation vehicle. Then, the fourth portion of processing data is used by the system 100 to update the loading data that has been determined.

[0027] Thus, according to the system and the method according to the present invention described above, necessary components are made available for providing functionalities allowing loading data in connection to a load supported by a transportation vehicle to be more accurately determined.


Claims

1. A method for determining by a computer system (100) loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, characterized in that said method comprises the steps of:

- obtaining a first portion of processing data, a part of said first portion of processing data being generated when at least one first detection device of detection means of a first type (110) arranged in said vehicle generates a signal,

- obtaining a second portion of processing data, a part of said second portion of processing data being generated when at least one second detection device of detection means of a second type (120) arranged in said vehicle generates a signal,

- obtaining a third portion of processing data, a part of said third portion of processing data being generated when a radiofrequency signal transmitted by a mobile device (130) is received, and

- determining said loading data by using said first portion of processing data, said second portion of processing data and said third portion of processing data.


 
2. The method according to claim 1, characterized in that said mobile device (130) is configured to pair with a beacon (140) arranged in said vehicle.
 
3. The method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said first detection device comprises a stereoscopic camera and/or an infrared sensor.
 
4. The method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that said second detection comprises a pressure sensor arranged with respect to a seat placed in said vehicle.
 
5. The method according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that it comprises the steps of:

- obtaining a fourth portion of processing data, a part of said fourth portion of processing data being stored on a remote data storage facility (150), and

- updating said loading data by using said fourth portion of processing data.


 
6. A system (100) for determining loading data in connection with a load supported by a transportation vehicle, characterized in that it comprises means (101, 102, 103, 104) carrying out the steps of a method according to one of the preceding claims.
 
7. The system according to claim 6, characterized in that it comprises at least one computer (101) and a data storage medium (102), in which at least one program for carrying out steps of the method carried out by the system is stored.
 
8. Computer program comprising instructions for carrying out the steps of a method according to claims 1 to 5.
 
9. Medium which can be used in a computer and on which a program according to claim 8 is recorded.
 




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