In an increasingly digital world, passengers will be able to smoothly continue their digital lives while riding trains. Platforms are being developed to provide passengers with outstanding experience before, while and after using public transportation. The goal: to enable passengers to stay connected during their commute on trains. One platform will allow passengers to book their trips from door to door, and using a blend of public transport, bicycle, carsharing or taxi. Passengers can connect to each other, access real-time travel information, entertainment or even e-commerce websites to arrange to pick-up their orders on arrival at the station.
2- Green transportation
Backed by new regulations and environmental groups, the global trend towards greener forms of transport is affecting multiple industries including the rail industry.
Several alternatives to diesel trains are currently being developed worldwide including:
Hydrogen fuel cells in trains: work by generating power through an onboard fuel cell that combines hydrogen and oxygen
Battery-powered locomotives: battery system that can be recharged by overhead wires on electrified tracks or by charging stations on non-electrified routes
Liquefied natural gas: (LNG) is being used in the rail industry as an option for dual-fuel locomotives
These investments will help develop a zero-emission, energy-efficient and cost-effective alternative to diesel trains. Deploying fuel cell and battery technology for rail transportation will usher in a new era for non-electrified routes.
3- Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 or the fourth Industrial Revolution is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. In today’s environment, manufacturers must challenge the status quo and focus on growth to stay competitive. Leveraging Industry 4.0 technologies provides the means to reinvent their business models, drive productivity and limit costs.
The combination of Information Technology and Operational Technology with a hyper-connected industry, cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and cloud computing enables systems to autonomously exchange information, trigger actions and learn from each other independently. Machines are thus more “intelligent” and are faster than humans due to their ongoing connectivity and activity. This new trend enhances agility, flexibility and speed-to-market when manufacturing products.
4- Virtual reality
Today, the production of expensive advance models can be greatly improved by using virtual test runs. This way, development and installation steps can be accelerated, optimized or done away with entirely.
At Bombardier Transportation for instance, we ensure the product quality meets customer needs by developing standardized methodology and tools across the global organization. The collected data flows from the CATIA V5 design system via a product lifecycle management system into a virtual reality solution from the ESI Group that goes by the name of IC.IDO. In the end, we can view the developed vehicle on high resolution “powerwalls” – and interact with it. This innovative technology enables colleagues in Development and Production, as well as at management levels, to make considerably more precise and quicker decisions in joint reviews in real time and in different locations around the globe.
5- Driver’s assistance - Obstacle Detection Assistance System
Homologated obstacle detection assistance systems support drivers in critical situations for both trams and light rail vehicles. The systems detect and track obstacles and warn the driver about potential risks, thereby increasing the active safety of the driver and passengers of the vehicle and all other traffic participants. Helping to avoid accidents and their subsequent costs, the obstacle detection assistance system also increases the availability of vehicles. The technology can be installed simply and quickly on new vehicles or retrofitted onto existing fleets.