The use of electronic subsystems to perform complex tasks has grown in the consumer goods and automotive sectors to such a degree that these capabilities have become commonplace, yet in the field of light rail vehicles, they have made relatively little impact. The technology exists today to provide greatly increased passenger safety, security and system operational efficiency by the judicious application of mature subsystem designs. Such systems include radio based, fully integrated vehicle management systems with GPS, silent alarm capability and passenger information control, external passenger door and coupler monitoring video cameras, forward facing video recording for accident investigations, interior video recording for reduction in vandalism, interior video cameras linked to Passenger to Operator Intercoms to provide the Operator with more information and the transfer of data to and from vehicles via wireless LAN. This paper will describe the application of these subsystems to the new Phoenix light rail vehicle and project what the future may hold.

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