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SMRT installs devices to monitor how bus captains drive

Following a trial, the transport operator deployed telematics devices on its bus fleet from May to better analyse areas such as its bus captains' driving practices and to prevent bus bunching during peak hours.

SINGAPORE: SMRT is looking to enhance the commuter experience on its buses by installing real-time tracking devices that can leverage Big Data to analyse the performance of its drivers.

The transport operator said on Monday (Aug 4) that it began trials on telematics technology since early 2014 and following their success, SMRT installed telematics devices on its bus fleet from May. Telematics is the branch of IT that deals with the long-distance transmission of computerised information.

SMRT said its telematics device is able to provide real-time tracking and analysis of driving parameters such as the speed of the bus, how the bus negotiates a corner, abrupt switching of lanes and sudden acceleration and deceleration.

"This data can be analysed to reinforce positive driving practices and correct poor driving behaviour of our bus captains, thereby ensuring the safety and improving the comfort for commuters," it said.

The company is also collaborating with NEC Asia Pacific to deploy analytics capabilities to study driver profiles and historical route-related information. This is to enable SMRT to better understand any risks and improve safety by identifying areas for pre-emptive intervention.

A decision support system will be developed to improve the control of bus operations, particularly in the management of the Bus Service Reliability Framework. For instance, route controllers will be given tablets that can track the location of buses in real-time and they will position themselves at strategic bus stops to regulate headway between buses and prevent bus bunching.

In terms of keeping commuters informed, SMRT said its buses will be equipped with a panel that displays the estimated arrival time and passenger load information of the next bus. At bus interchanges, the information display panel will also show traffic conditions and other useful information for those travelling.

“These initiatives underscore SMRT’s ongoing commitment to deliver a positive experience to our commuters - one that is safe, reliable and comfortable," said Mr Tan Kian Heong, Vice President of SMRT Buses. "SMRT Buses will continue to leverage on technology, refine our work processes and build a competent and motivated work force to upkeep the high standard of service that the public expects from us."