INtelligent in-VEhicle TErminal
for multi-modal flexible collective transport services

The evolution of modern transport systems - particularly the progressive deployment of flexible, Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) services - is creating the need for modular, adaptable and multi-service IVTs. The terminals available on the market are standalone and do not fulfil the different needs of flexible services. Furthermore, the increased use of telematics in collective transport vehicles results in a wide variety of devices and displays, which have a negative effect on the behaviour of the driver, on operation management and on maintenance.

As a European collaborative project INVETE aimed at the design, realisation and demonstration of an innovative In-Vehicle Terminal (IVT) for different transport modes, including regular Public Transport, Demand Responsive Transport (DRT), door-to-door special services and shared taxis.

INVETE addressed interoperability issues by providing a modular, multi-service IVT able to operate in different Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) environments (AVL/AVM, GSM, Private Radio Network, ...).

Specifically, the INVETE IVT:

  • provides a platform for in-vehicle information management and services in a number of different collective transport service modes, including regular, line-based public transport services, demand-responsive bus services, individual and shared taxi services;
  • supports multiple system and communication environments;
  • can be integrated and interoperable with other on-board telematics equipment;
  • is modular and open to allow easy integration of additional and future applications.
Sorry, under construction!

VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland (FI)

ATAF, Public Transport Company of Florence Area (IT)

De Lijn, Public Transport Company of Flanders (BE)

Koiviston Auto Oy (FI)

Instromentointi Oy (FI)

Softeco Sismat (IT)

Mobisoft Oy (FI)

Tritel NV (BE)


Memex srl (IT)


The general architecture of the INVETE IVT is based on two modules, the Base Module (BSM) and the Application Module (ASM), with serial communication between them.

The Base Module performs the basic and real-time services, the application module provides application oriented services and the user-interface to the driver. The Application Module is tailored with respect to different public transport services (e.g., AVL vs. DRT services).

For DRT services, the Application Module hosts a commercial operating system, has advanced graphical capabilities and is connected to the base module with an Ethernet link. For regular public transport applications, the Application Module is a more economic solution, which consists of a smaller graphical or text display that is connected with a serial link to the Base Module.

Base Module

The Base Module is the heart of the IVT platform providing all the time-critical services needed in the DRT or AVL/AVM applications, including vehicle location, communication, status monitoring, information logging. The BSM has all the in-vehicle interfaces to chassis and telematics units (including also a CAN-Open gateway) as well as the communication units (GSM, PRN, SRC) for external data interchange.

The physical architecture of the Base Module is based on internal modularity and allows one to build up a wide range of alternative models. The PC104 processor unit as the core unit provides the best possible integrated functionalities (Ethernet, RS232, RS485, etc.) together with the modular ISA-bus approach for accessory PC104 cards. The PC104 approach is open, due to the availability of the numerous different types of accessory PC104 cards: PCMCIA, I/O, Memory, CAN, etc. The QNX 4 operating system is used due to real-time performance.

The essential parts of the Base Module include:

  • PC104 CPU including the 266MHz processor, serial communication (Ethernet, RS232, RS485), 32 Mbyte RAM and 64 Mbyte FLASH memory
  • PC104 CAN interface card
  • Data radio modem for the PRN with adjustable transmitter power, programmable frequency, error correction and packetizing functionality
  • GSM modem
  • GPS module
  • Power unit with input voltage range 9 - 33 Volts
  • Mechanical enclosure with attachments.

Application Module for DRT Services (DRT-ASM)

The DRT-ASM has been designed for the driver running the DRT services. The DRT-ASM provides high level services to support DRT operations and vehicle-driver interaction. The construction of the DRT-ASM supports the integration into the dashboard of a vehicle.

The physical architecture of the DRT-ASM is based on a 10-inch TFT-LCD display, covered with a high quality touch screen and a compact processing unit with an Ethernet interface. The 10-inch display allows the display of a graphical map of the DRT service area. The touch- screen approach supports the developer in creating a user friendly user interface. The PC104 processor unit as the core unit has the best possible integrated functionalities (Ethernet, RS232, USB, etc.) together with the modular ISA-bus approach for accessory PC104 cards.

The essential parts in the DRT Application Module are the following:

  • PC104 CPU including a 266MHz processor, Ethernet and serial interfaces, 64 Mbyte RAM and 128 Mbyte FLASH memory
  • PC104 Power unit with an input voltage range from 9 -33 V
  • TFT-LCD 10" display
  • Touch screen for 10" display
  • Mechanical construction with all the attachment parts

INVETE validated the achieved end products through real-life demonstration projects in two sites in Italy and Finland and by a transferability study in Belgium.

The Italian demonstrator of the INVETE IVT was focused on the evaluation of its capability to support efficient and effective operations in the provision of Demand Responsive Transport services.

The IVT-DRT application in Italy took place in Florence, in the context of existing DRT services operated by ATAF. The DRT-ASM services for the Italian site were developed around our product PersonalBus®, the TDC software providing day-by-day planning and management of ATAF DRT.

In Florence, the IVT was linked to the PersonalBus® TDC, allowing the demonstration and evaluation of the added-value of INVETE within the operational chain of automated management of DRT services.

The general model of DRT services in Florence was based on both off-line reservation and on-line booking of personalised trips for the customers.

The PersonalBus® TDC sent updated journey plan information to the IVTs at regular time intervals (i.e. the updated blocks of trips for the next 30 minutes) such that the driver always has the latest state of planned journeys within a given time window.

The state of current journey was continously updated and presented to the driver, including indications of updated vehicle position on the map, last stop point / junction passed within the planned route, advance/delay with respect to scheduled journey times, text messages from the TDC and alarm conditions.

The DRT application operated in three display modes: map, list and mixed. A command key allowed the driver to switch between these modes as desired.

The DRT application was logically structured in order to provide several groups of services:

  • IVT Initialization
  • Communication Management
  • Vehicle Position Management
  • DRT Service Management
  • On-board Passenger Management
  • Driver's Display Management
  • Pre-coded Messages Management
  • Auxiliary Services

Know how - Mobility


EC Programme
Information Society technologies (IST)
DG Information Society

Grant agreement
N° ...

Start date
January 2000

27 months

VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland (FI)


INVETE flyer (en)