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Tiramisu Bus App Now Available for Android

CMU released the smartphone application to iPhone in July.

Four months after Carnegie Mellon University released a to help riders locate their Port Authority buses, the school in Oakland has built a similar app for Android smartphone users.

The Android version of Tiramisu is now available for download online by going to www.tiramisutransit.com.

“Tiramisu now can be used with the vast majority of smartphones on the market,” said Aaron Steinfeld, a senior systems scientist in the university’s Robotics Institute. “That’s critical for a crowdsourcing app such as Tiramisu because users are its most important source of information. It becomes more helpful as more people use it.”

 already has proven to be wildly popular with Port Authority riders as more than 10,000 trips have been recorded using the system over the past four months.

Tiramisu, an Italian word meaning, “pick me up,” is a user-friendly application that uses a rider's smartphone to signal the location and occupancy level of Port Authority buses in real time, tracking arrival and departure times for each bus. The new app was developed by researchers in the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC-APT), supported in part by CMU’s Traffic21 initiative.

The application relies on crowdsourcing, a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, to an undefined, large group of people or community (a "crowd") through an open call. By utilizing the information of other transit riders, Tiramisu can track the location of a bus in real time

Tiramisu displays the nearest stops and a list of buses or light rail vehicles that are scheduled to arrive. The list includes arrival times, based either on real-time reports from current riders or when no rider is currently sharing a GPS trace. Once aboard, the user indicates whether many, few or no seats are available and then presses a button, allowing the phone to share an ongoing GPS trace with the Tiramisu server.

In addition to the Tiramisu project’s websitee, more information is available on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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