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SmartRail Speaks: Dan Cumming, Director of Sales & Marketing, Quester Tangent

Posted on Sep 30, 2014

ResizedDan_Cumming“Since we are making the rail cars smarter, the next logical step is pulling the data off trains for storage and in-depth analysis. What do we do with that raw data?”

Luke Upton (LU): As means of an introduction, perhaps you could give any readers unaware of Quester Tangent a little introduction into how you work with the rail industry.

Dan Cumming (DC): Quester Tangent has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focused primarily on supplying the passenger rail market with train electronics and software solutions. We work with the world’s major train manufacturers and transit authorities. A wide variety of vehicle applications in North America, Korea, China, and Malaysia use our products including: monitoring and control, on-train displays, event recorders, communication and data networks, and passenger information systems. With over 7,000 products installed in revenue-service, we can proudly say we are a leading independent supplier of monitoring and diagnostic systems in North America.

LU: As you work with some major transit authorities, including SEPTA, NYCT, MARTA, and MBTA, I am interested to hear what you think makes a good relationship between a transit authority and a solution provider like yourself.

DC: One way we measure success at Quester Tangent is through our relationships with customers, partners, suppliers, and employees. We highly value and nurture each relationship to keep it strong and productive. Our industry is unique among other technology industries: strong relationships in the rail industry require a very long-term mind-set. For electronic components, we talk about a life cycle in terms of months and years, but for the trains themselves, it is years and decades. We are continuously bridging this gap in life cycle.

Like any relationship, communication is incredibly important. It is essential to stay on track. Our teams listen to the needs and distinctive requirements of transit authorities and rail manufacturers and excel at finding creative solutions on time and on budget.

LU: You have been working with Transit authorities since 1993. What are some of the major changes you’ve seen during this time?

DC: Today, network communications and processing power enable the creation of more complex vehicle systems. The incorporation of new technologies helps transit authorities improve safety, reliability, and operational efficiency. These advancements also enrich the passenger experience, making transit much more appealing through infotainment displays, Wi-Fi, CCTV security cameras, and automated passenger announcements and signs.

LU: At SmartRail USA, you are presenting a session called IoT – Internet of… Trains? Sounds intriguing. Could you give us a sneak preview?

DC: Modern trains produce an enormous amount of data, especially now that we are creating increasingly complex vehicle systems. The session is centred on the application of that data. Since we are making the cars smarter, the next logical step is pulling the data off trains for storage and in-depth analysis. What do we do with that raw data? How do we apply it to make informed decisions about the whole fleet? Come check out our presentation to be part of that discussion!

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QuesterTangent_Logo_PMS_Tag_LDan Cumming will be an expert speaker and Quester Tangent an Associate Sponsor of SmartRail USA (29-30th October, Charlotte, NC) alongside senior executives from San Francisco Municipal Transportation agency (SFMTA), Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), New York (MTA), Metra Chicago and many more. Quester Tangent is the largest independent North American supplier of train electronics and software solutions for the rail transit industry. The company offers modular and tailored products to rail vehicle manufacturers and transit authorities that enable the efficient movement of people and goods. To learn more about Quester Tangent product offerings visit:QuesterTangent.com

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See also: Exclusive SmartRail World free e-book: The Future of US Rail and 'Appy birthday to TriMet's industry leading mobile solution

Topics: SmartInterviews

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About the Author

Luke Upton
Luke Upton
Luke has edited this site since its launch and previously worked for b2b media companies across industries including energy, advertising and sport. His role includes writing, editing and commissioning...read more
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