Beginning in spring 2013, Gray Line New York will offer four of its most popular tours in a variety of new languages to accommodate their growing international customer base.
The Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn and Night Tours will be pre-recorded in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean. Customers will have the option of listening to the live guide in English on their headset system or one of the alternate languages on a separate channel. This free service marks the first time that multilingual tours are available on double-decker buses in New York City, as it is exceptionally difficult to sustain this type of technology in such a high-traffic city, according to the company.
The audio commentary system will be supplied by specialist v6e, which utilizes a unique tracking system that maps the precise location of the vehicle using digital mapping software with the on-bus gyro to ensure that the right commentary is played in the right place.
The units installed in the Gray Line New York buses are derived from v6e’s existing product range but have been modified to suit the particular requirements of the customer, including a new rapid-fit system that helped with the installation of a large number of units. This technology is especially difficult to operate in New York City, where canyons from tall buildings affect the GPS system and dead zones from diplomat buildings limit airways, making Gray Line New York’s services a landmark for the city.
The recordings consist of tour narration, music and sound effects, which mimic the street sounds of New York City, so riders will get the full experience of traveling throughout New York. The voiceover actors were carefully selected through a series of auditions, chosen for the tone of their voice and their authenticity.