After the pandemic, creating confidence among train passengers is more important than ever. Quadrant Transport looks at how technology is being used to improve rail safety and efficiency for people.
Passenger numbers plummeted at the height of the pandemic as the government banned non-essential travel. Now, commuters’ requirements have changed, and the industry needs to set new standards as we emerge from the pandemic.
Though cameras on trains is not a new thing, the focus of One Big Circle is accessibility and usability. Network Rail and Transport For Wales have committed to a collaborative approach by sharing some of the data that the AIVR system captures. The data initially was just for operation on safety and delivery purposes.
Now, because the data was so rich, it was agreed that imagery would be shared regularly, such as particular iconic structures or locations that are popular with people.
Safety is at the forefront of rail response
Quadrant Transport spoke to Emily Kent, Co-Founder and Director of One Big Circle Ltd, who spoke about why it is essential to create confidence among train passengers: “That is getting passengers safely and efficiently from point A to point B, to where they want to be.”
This technology can be used so that engineers and those disciplines can use their skills and knowledge without being on-site. This will reduce operational costs and increase on-track safety and prevent losing time on-site.
Building passenger confidence is essential
Creating that confidence amongst the train travelling public and putting those passengers at the core of what the industry has been focussing on post-pandemic. Rather than being led by technology, the industry is being led by what the outcome is of the industry.
Therefore, people can work easily collaboratively on that data, with all the decisions being made digitally but still using their existing knowledge and expertise. It is not about removing people from their roles but instead giving them more information to assist them with doing their job more safely and efficiently.
Emily expressed how this is a turning point for technology in the rail industry:
That is where the industry is going and the AIVR system is proved that there is a lot of rich data that we can transmit and make available for those purposes
One Big Circle are currently researching 5G, Quadrant Transport has heard. The exploration of 5G testbeds could highlight the benefit of having that video data more available and how this data can be available in real-time. For it to be effectively implemented, questions around who needs it and why it would be required need answered.
The rail industry is on the verge of an exciting innovation era, all down to technology. The huge amounts of data collected will enhance not only safety and reliability for train passengers but also reduce the impact of human error.