Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe - "speaking tram"

The external skin of the vehicle acts as a flat-panel loudspeaker. 

Unique project in Europe with GSP and Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe

In order to lower barriers for visually impaired passengers waiting at stops, Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe AG has trodden completely new paths with their trams (Combino/Siemens and existing vehicles MGT6D/Duewag) using the innovative acoustic announcement system from GSP. "We have developed an announcement for visually impaired passengers where the external skin of the vehicle acts as a flat-panel loudspeaker," explains Nico Gerch, the GSP sales manager. In order to announce the line number, destination and stops, electromagnetic exciters are installed in the side walls of around 70 trams and they transmit vibrations to the external skin. In order to ensure that the announcements have the best possible directionality, the GSP team conducted comprehensive measurements on the vehicles.

"The sound coming from the complete vehicle surface was significantly better compared to external speakers and can therefore be more targeted," explains Nico Gerch. Noise-dependent volume control (GLR) and intelligent lowering of volume at night avoids unnecessarily annoying those living close to Erfurt tram routes.

The Erfurt Association of Blind People was also involved in this development project by GSP, Erfurter Verkehrsbetriebe and Erfurt Technical University. The "speaking tram" fulfils all EU guidelines for reducing barriers and has generated a lot of interest from other transport companies.

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