Advantech Europe Case Study: Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) for Railways Station

Version 2

    Project Introduction:

    Passenger Information Display Systems (PIDS) are digital information systems which display real-time information for passengers. Train operating companies are constantly striving to improve passenger satisfaction by offering more than just arrival and departure times. They also offer news and entertainment content as well as safety and emergency announcements and much more. These days, advertising is an important revenue stream for train operators, and that’s why PIDS are becoming more and more indispensable. A national train operator in Belgium was looking for an effective solution to upgrade their existing and outdated passenger information system whilst providing extra value to their customer experience.


    System Requirements:

    • Powerful image processing for graphic displays, and various digital multimedia formats
    • Low power consumption and efficient cooling
    • Intel AMT/VPro technology for remote management
    • An excellent TCP/IP LAN solution through which the PIDS database, input terminals, and displays all connect in real-time
    • Simple maintenance and great reliability, stability, and connectivity
    • Compact form factor
    • Future-proof system
    • Intel® Active Management Technology and Intel® vPro™ technology for remote management


    Project Implementation:

    To provide passengers and visitors with up-to-date real-time information, Clear Channel International chose Advantech for its digital signage network in Belgian’s railways and subway stations. This was just the first part of a much bigger project, which forecasted a 5-year contract and a network of IP54 - 70" multimedia totems in different configurations and with different customizations. The PIDS displays were integrated with AIMB-270 Intel® Core™ i7/i5/Celeron uFC-PGA989 Mini-ITXmotherboards inside. The 70” displays were installed indoors in the main station aisles and used to convey digital signage content and other information. In addition, 46" touch screen totems were also installed from the SNCB railway company directly onto their outdoor train platforms. The displays receive real-time train timetable information as well as news, weather and advertising.
    Because of its highly compact design, the AIMB-270 was easily integrated into each display. Advantech developed customized APIs to support FHD (Full High Definition) resolutions for larger displays and provided dedicated programs to run diagnostic applications. Integrating real-time displays, database, and input terminals, the PIDS are all connected via a TCP/IP compliant LAN. AIMB-270’s fanless and energy efficient design ensures the PIDS are super reliable, keeping passengers well informed and making their travel experience easier, safer and more convenient.




    Conclusion & Benefits:
    AIMB-270 high performance Intel® Core™ i7/i5/Celeron uFC-PGA989 Mini-ITX industrial motherboards proved to be the perfect solution for the PIDS in the Belgium railway stations. Dual independent displays, rich I/Os, support for DDR3 up to 4 GB, and of course Advantech’s renowned industrial reliability made these compact boards the ideal fit for the train operator’s current and future requirements. The PIDS system showcases passenger information, entertainment and news, and provides several key benefits:


    • Provides extra value to the customer experience by providing real time information
    • AIMB-270 was easily integrated into each display because of its highly compact design
    • Advantech developed customized APIs to support FHD (Full High Definition) resolutions for larger displays
    • Energy efficient design
    • Industrial reliability and efficiency