In-Use Transit Bus Mass Measurement for Passenger Counting and Energy Use Characterization

PI: Will Northrop, Mechanical Engineering

Aditya Salapaka, M.S. student, Mechanical Engineering

Luying Liu, PhD student, Mechanical Engineering

Current automated passenger counter (APC) systems for transit buses are expensive and have poor accuracy, especially for mass boarding and alighting. This goal of this project is to develop and refine a novel low-cost APC technology with improved accuracy and lower cost than currently available systems. The concept is to use data collected from pressure sensors connected to the vehicle air suspension system and advanced algorithms to determine changes in vehicle mass during stops that correlate to passenger boarding and alighting events. The project will advance the mass-based APC from a prototype to a market-ready product.

Six in-use Metro Transit buses to date have been instrumented. Additional buses from the University of Minnesota are planned to be instrumented. 

Sponsor: Transportation Research Board