The challenges rail travelers often experience include uncertainty about route schedules and the condition of the railways, fear of not knowing if they will safely arrive at their final destination, and sporadic Internet connectivity during their commutes. The new Cisco® Connected Transportation Solution offers a safer and more productive commuter experience and deliver on the value of the Internet of Everything.
Whether train passengers are arriving at the station or have reached their final destination, they can connect their mobile devices to a single Wi-Fi network – rather than switching networks – when moving from the station into the train or along the journey. Passengers have the speed and reliability of a Wi-Fi connection without relying on the coverage or speed of cellular data networks that can be slow or result in spotty coverage on many commuter journeys.
Cisco’s holistic approach to connected rail allows commuters to track scheduled train arrival and departure times, access alerts on delays, and share real-time travel updates with others over mobile devices. Commuters can also access train information through interactive signs on the station platforms that are fed real-time information coming directly from the movement of passengers and the status of the infrastructure around them. This is a new platform for powerful analytics that can be used to deliver new passenger services, improve the traffic conditions, and provide a safer environment to the users.
Safety was the top priority when developing this solution. The U.S. Federal Railroad Association (FRA) reports that human error accounts for almost two-thirds of all rail-related accidents. Cisco’s positive train control (PTC) system can determine the train’s location and speed, and augment the safety measures set by the train operator or engineer. If warnings are ignored or cannot be performed, PTC will automatically apply the brakes to slow down or stop the train.
Cisco Connected Station integrates multiple in-station networks and retail communication systems into a standards-based IP network.
Cisco Connected Trackside, a ruggedized IP infrastructure platform designed to support operational services, lower costs of network operations, and reduce complexity of older, proprietary networks.
Cisco Connected Train for onboard, IP-based communications, including Wi-Fi services, entertainment, video surveillance, and automated operations.
Cisco Positive Train Control combined with partner technologies is designed to help prevent train collisions, derailments and other human-caused rail accidents. Cisco PTC integrates onboard, trackside, wayside, signaling, and back-office systems. Although PTC mandates apply only to U.S. rail operators, rail transport is subject to strict safety regulations on a global basis. Railways outside of the U.S. can use this same technology to ensure that they comply with their country’s safety requirements.
Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer and executive vice president, Industry Solutions, Cisco, said:
“The rail industry stands to gain $27 billion of economic value over the next 15 years from disruptive solutions now made possible by the Internet of Everything. The Cisco Connected Transportation Solution delivers an application-centric infrastructure to enhance commuter safety, communication and transport efficiency by connecting the unconnected, such as people, mobile devices, GPS tracking systems, sensors and data. This digital overlay allows operators to receive and analyze real-time data flows to reengineer processes as well as respond immediately to irregular incidents along the tracks or in the train.”
Norman Mineta, former United States Secretary of Transportation, adds:
“It’s exciting to see an innovative titan like Cisco join forces with Lilee Systems to create an ecosystem that will greatly enhance safety and connectivity on America’s railways. We are just starting to see the advantages of a connected rail system, with positive impacts for both operators and travelers becoming more evident. Innovative positive train control (PTC) technologies being brought to market by companies like Cisco and Lilee are key to ensure these advancements continue.”
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