François Davenne, UIC General Director, talks about the importance of worker safety and safeguarding the rail network from cyber-attacks; the even greater precision of positioning and the improvement of systems and tools to reduce risks and limit new digital threats.
Cyber-attacks are a growing concern in the transport industry but technology and digitalisation can help develop new systems for prevention and detection.
We hope these innovations will help to protect workers and minimise the need to deploy workers on tracks at night, in the fog, or in other difficult conditions when their job becomes far riskier. If human intervention is not needed in dangerous conditions, safety is much easier to implement.
From a technological standpoint the most important aspect is that of achieving greater precision regarding the position of trains and workers. At the moment, localisation is not very precise. The introduction of 5G with FRMCS, that includes a very precise positioning feature, will help improve accuracy enabling us to pinpoint train location to an exact position improving safety for everyone.
At the same time cyber-attacks are a growing concern in the transport industry like in any other and the UIC coordinates and hosts the EU platform dedicated to cybersecurity ER ISAC (European Railways – Information and Sharing Centre).
I think this will be a very important subject that should be taken into account at the very inception of developing integrated networks. The point is not to design a system on the basis of cyber security issues, but to ensure that the system design is flexible and intelligent enough to constantly adapt to new threats in order to developing and accommodating new security levels and tools. Security issues, in fact, need to be constantly monitored and cannot be a one-time concern. This is something that we are very committed to, and it is my belief that manufacturers, operators and technology providers that are part of Shift2Rail should work closely together to achieve this objective.
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This article was originally published by Fincons Group.
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