In India, people most often use the public transport while going around places and Taxis are the most common medium. The fare of the Taxi is based on the duration of the journey which indirectly depends upon the distance covered. The Taxi union of India decides the distance fare ratio and thus the fare is calculated. However, the current meters used in India are mechanical and can be manipulated to read a different meter value than the real ones. Also, some taxi drivers even end up demanding more money from the visually impaired people, as they are not able to read the meter values and often end up paying more. This is also the case with the foreign tourists visiting India. Although, the tourists can read the meter value, they do not have access to the meter fare ratio and have to blindly pay what the taxi driver asks for. Moreover, when it comes to change in fare regulations, all the taxi meters need to be sometimes re-calibrated which is a very time consuming process, with the meters being mechanical. Our project aims to address these issues by making the meter mechanism completely automated by taking advantage of the vast expanding internet and embedded systems domain.
Tell me the fare
When the meter is turned on , the IR sensor close to the wheel starts measuring the number of revolutions of the wheel by using a base point on the wheel.Once the taxi covers the intended distance of the journey, the meter is switched off to stop counting the revolutions now. Now, based on the no of revolutions, the distance is calculated by using the formula : noOfRevolutions X circumferenceOfWheel. Now, based on the distance, the fare is calculated and the same is displayed on the LCD screen. The text format of the fare is then sent to the google text to speech conversion service via ethernet,which returns a mp3 file of the text converted speech. This mp3 file is then read out loud using the VS1053 encoder and audio jack module. Also, an additional switch is provided to replay the fare if the passenger wishes to. Thus, with this project we aim to make the complete meter an automated device.
There was a VS1053 chip issue we found while implementing this project. Some VS1053 chips exhibit abnormal behavior and don't play the mp3 file at all. We checked the sparkfun site and found the same was mentioned there, as well in some forums. There is no software workaround for this and we had to use another working chip for the same. The hardware workaround if one has to implement,has been mentioned on sparkfun site(https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8954).
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