Day three of SmartMetro yesterday brought with it the chance to hear more of the invaluable insights from experts across the world of metro, tram, and light rail technology. The packed agenda promised, as always, to offer valuable insights from rail industry, encouraging the best practice sharing and development that helps make this industry of ours such a special one to be involved in. Dave Songer again toured the show to engross himself in the goings on at the show, watch as many of the speakers of possible and share some of the most perceptive and engaging things he encountered. Before he did that, Dave headed up the opening day’s content and moderated: How will automation and machine learning disrupt the urban transport business model?
Kicking off Day Three, the challenge of tackling just how automation will – or has already – changed the landscape Room 1 had a superb assortment of guests in Simon Jarrett, head of technical services, Chiltern Railways; Mark Westwood, chief technology officer, Transport Systems Catapult; and Diego Galar, professor at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, to demystify this complex subject. Headline points included what autonomous could mean for public transport, how robotics could provide the answers for reliability, and the safety and cost efficiency benefits that could come as a result. With their input the three experts certainly helped guide the audience to the seemingly endless number of possibilities.
The three-stream format resumed after the first coffee break of the day. Room 1’s signalling agenda was started today by Sylvain Baro from SNCF on handling the changes faced when implementating new technology and using new signalling systems to increase capacity and train operations across Paris’ network. Meanwhile Roche Muraine from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise was in attendance to show how technology is being used to enable efficiency and safety in rail tunnels via the use of geo-localisation services and the now-within-reach application of artificial intelligence (AI) that was the stuff of dreams not so long ago. Representing Metro Istanbul, Burak Birol covered an area of technology that is taking the guesswork out of rail operations: predictive maintenance. Burak gave an account of how the city is ssing data to plan maintenance projects around peak service hours, an approach that is enabling it to, as he puts it “spend money in the right places”.
In Room 3, and showing how Italy is using the latest technologies to make transport there better, Andrea Bruschi from Metro Milan Spa explained to the room how by identifying the service ecosystem, business models can be custom-designed that can accommodate MaaS, helping a transport ecosystem to flourish. Following Andrea, one of the original modes of transport that is still today very much part of the MaaS conversation, Charles Maguin, from the French Federation of Cyclists, spoke about the vital role that bikes play in the overall journey – cutting congestions and all the shile improving commuters’ health. Charles implored the audience to push themselves in this are and invest in cycling infrastructure, collaborate with bikeshare schemes and use technology to create greater integration.
That was just a small selection of what happened today and it's worth reiterating that SmartMetro would be nothing without the speakers who have shared their expertise and we thank them for their contributions.
"Vienna and Helsinki, both cities that use single-payment managed MaaS systems, have actually increased the demand for public transport since adopting it."
Piia Kajalainen, Senior Manager, ERTICO ITS Europe
"We need to think differently about meeting the congestion challenge, we can’t carry on in the way that we are and we need to ease the reliance on private cars – their use has gone up in our region by 58% since 2011."
Phil Hewitt, Executive Director, Midland Metro
"Once upon a time data was not so focused and supplied a wide approximation of information. Now, with a coherent strategy, it goes much deeper and yields much better results."
Andrea Bruschi, Director of Mobility Systems, Metro Milan Spa
"The simple reason why bike parking is good is you can accommodate 12 bike customers in the same space that one car driver takes. Also, the reliance on car parking spaces has been reduced in many places thanks to services like Uber."
Charles Maguin, President, Paris en Selle and Member, French Federation of Cyclists
"We need to make our maintenance sites more productive. Also, we have to accept the struggle that there is in the industry to recruit trained people – this factor alone makes robotic-based maintenance all the more attractive."
Simon Jarrett, Head of Technical Services, Chiltern Railways
"Assets have to be intelligent enough that if they have a problem they are aware of it. That’s what trerror management theory is about: if oyu have a train that is going to fail, it has to know it’s going to happen."
Diego Galar, Professor of Condition Monitoring, Luleå University of Technology