Today SmartRail world visits Paris to speak to David Bonvoisin, Head of Safety-Critical Software Validation Department, RATP Software Qualification Laboratory (AQL), a member of EURAILTEST and an expert speaker at SmartRail Europe. AQL has a 26-strong workforce of technicians and engineers with the technical and human resources to monitor and improve the safety of software-based railway command-control systems. EURAILTEST is an Economic Interest Grouping founded by SNCF and RATP to market their light and regular rail system and sub-system testing know-how and facilities, and together offer widely recognised, tried and tested technical skills and experience of two major historic railway operators. Since 1999, EURAILTEST's clients have included a large number of industrial firms, among them Alstom Transport, Bombardier, Siemens, CAF and Stadler.
Luke Upton (LU): In your role as safety-critical software assessment expert manager at the RATP Laboratory, what does a typical working day look like?
David Bonvoisin (DB): Well, I guess my working days look like those of many operational managers! My time is split between technical issues, team management, reporting, relationships with suppliers, and many other topics. In fact, the main difficulty is to manager so many issues whilst remaining vigilant and rigorous about safety issues.
LU: You recently worked on a project with Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL), the organisation running all of the land based public transport systems in Stockholm County.in Sweden, can you tell us a little more information about that?
DB: We are still working with SL. For their requirements, we are delivering an Independent Safety Assessment service related to a new software process development technology used by one of their suppliers. We know this process based on formal methods very well, that's the reason why SL has contracted with and we continue to partner with them.
LU: And so what are some of the major developments ahead in 2014?
DB: In 2014, we will complete the safety assessment and commissioning of the CBTC of the Line 13 of Paris Metro. We will also have to achieve the safety assessment of the evolutions of the CBTC systems of the Line 3, Line 5 and Line 9 of Paris Metro. We are also working on a new generation of interlocking system. Lastly, we will have to complete a very ambitious Formal Proof delivery service related to an ERTMS system for one of our external customers.
LU: And finally, what are some of the challenges that safety critical software faces in 2014?
DB: Several issues in relationship to the safety critical software have appeared during the last years. I will only enumerate two of them. The first is probably the combination of the use of software and the life-cycle shortening of almost every product involved within a railway transportation system. This results in the need of constant evolution and adaptation of a greater amount of software. This raises obvious skill management difficulties but also long term cost issues!
The second is the growth of generic products to face the growing market of transportation systems. These products are becoming more and more complex and need a very fine tuning and a very complex set of parameters. Parametrization around these systems and keeping these parameters up to date all along the lifecycle of the product can quickly reveal to be a challenge !
LU: Thanks very much David, looking forward to hearing more in Amsterdam.
EURAILTEST will be Exhibiting and David Bonvoisin Speaking along with over 100 industry leaders at SmartRail Congress & Expo alongside 1000 attendees and 40 exhibitors in Amsterdam, 24-26th February 2014. SmartRail is the definitive European rail signalling, telecoms and technology Congress and Expo. For more on EURAILTEST and how they can work with you click here.