BVG reveals passenger survey result regarding low power technologies for real time information at the bus stop

The Background

In a world where technology is increasingly ubiquitous, it seems every city is on its way to become a Smart City. The mass deployment of broadband infrastructure, mobile phones, and wireless connectivity is just at the beginning. The Internet of Things – a web of connected devices and sensors in the physical world – can interact with analytics systems and provide real-time passenger information with solar powered, digital bus stops for enhancing the day-by-day travelling experience.

However, building a Smart City means more than hardware deployment but it plays an important role. For example, a display that is showing the content to the users has the power to influence the perception of the user for the complete system because it is the main interface.

What does it mean?

If the content is not visualized in the proper way, the perception of the complete system can be put in question. Therefore, it is a future oriented decision to keep your project at the forefront of the evolution of passenger information by selecting the newest available technology. However, any technological evolution needs to be made in combination with an intensive dialog with the manufacturer to design a solution which fits seamlessly into the operators’ application. This is the only possible approach to drive the complete project into success.

The BVG Passenger Survey Result

During a pilot installation for bus stops made by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the main public transport company of Berlin, 8 companies participated, with 12 different display models.

The GDS -Team has participated with an autonomous solar powered 13” e-Tela™ Display (based on E-Ink® Technology in combination with G+Bond™ and GDS-Outdoor-Enhancement).

The GDS display ranked first among all the solar or battery powered solutions. The GDS e-Tela™ solution was beaten in the passengers’ feedback only by a color LCD-TFT with electricity access.

Among the other parameters passengers loved in the GDS e-Tela™ 13’’ solution was the readability during day time, the quality of the information displayed and the overall design of the unit. Also, the BVG service team was satisfied by the GDS unit quality, robustness and ease of the installation.

Mr. Matthias Tenbusch, BVG project leader for the “Green Bus Stop” real field test initiative, said:

The GDS e-Tela display’s high design quality and robustness were recognized by our passengers as well as by the BVG service team leading at the first position among the low power solutions in the overall satisfaction ranking.


Source: Result from the BVG Passenger Survey about low power displays for real time passenger information at the bus stop installed in several locations around Berlin

Which is the main message?

One important aspect of the survey is that installed solutions using the same technology and, in some cases, also the exactly same panel dimension ended up getting a completely different result in the users’ perception. This is clearly visible in the overall passenger satisfaction ranking provided in the graph above comparing the GDS e-Tela™ solution with the E-paper 13’’ solution which ranked to second last.

It means that it is not the technology itself that plays the most important role but how the technology is integrated in an outdoor display solution that is easy to read and presents a sharp contrast under all weather conditions.

Sometimes it is easy to think to build an outdoor display by just placing a display panel inside an IP graded box with some electronics. However, this approach cannot be the winning one in the long term. The analysis made by BVG clearly shows that a well-built display is clearly recognized by the passengers.

Mayors, experts, technology leaders and residents themselves, all have a role to play in the real world of Smart Cities and if you are interested in further success criterions for a Smart City project get in touch with GDS ( and we are delighted to exchange further details.

For more information about GDS and their digital bus stop information displays please be sure to get in touch with us today. One of our friendly experts will discuss with you the best solution for your project.

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