Since the inception of the transport sector, long-distance travelling has always posed an arduous task for people to achieve. Nevertheless, the invention of railways had opened a new realm in the field of transport that is an all-time preferred choice of several people to this day.
And as we see technological advancements in every sphere of industry, trains also have not been left untouched. Though trains are not getting the same level of attention as planes, rockets and other modes of transport when it comes to innovative forms of travel, big steps have been taken to drive the future of rail travel.
One of the main reasons for the popularity of trains comes from the fact that it is one of the most sustainable and cost-effective modes of transport and, depending on the destination, trains can get passengers from one city to another in an incredibly fast time.
With industries showing their interest in the railway sector, the industry is undergoing a major overhaul in the past few years. To get a clearer picture of the technological trends undergoing till this date, let’s delve a little deeper into some of the railway technology trends that are expected to play a prominent role in the future of transport by rail.
Top 5 Trends in Railways Technology
Autonomous trains have already made their debut and are in operation for years in some of the cities throughout the world like Shanghai, Dubai and Sao Paolo. And yet, the technology is still considered to be a game-changer and in progress. Why do you think that is?
The main reason behind this comes from the simple fact that systems are constantly advancing and can be used on increasingly longer trips. Also, automation has shown a great potential for optimizing the efficiency of public transport systems like underground rail by keeping track of peak times and preventing small delays.
With the introduction of automatic train control (ATC) systems and many upgrades to signaling technology, significant changes have been made in reducing technical errors, improving traffic information flows and restoring passenger confidence in rail transit.
Internet of Trains
IoT possesses the potential of greatly impacting railway technology with its unique feature of connected mobility that can help in improving the reliability and safety of railway infrastructure.
Condition-based monitoring is another feature of IoT that can prevent delays resulting from track and train part failures, which can further help in optimizing maintenance efficiency and costs and can improve passenger satisfaction.
The connected mobility trend plays a part of a bigger trend towards connected trains that will be full of devices that can easily keep a track of train’s position at all times and also will be able to exchange information like the number of passengers or perform functions like displaying seat reservations.
AI can be counted under the major technological trend that will be seen in the railway technology in the coming future with its numerous applications within the railway industry, covering asset management, predictive maintenance, and emergency notification.
Deep learning algorithms and neural networks will also play a significant role in optimizing train scheduling and minimize delays. Moreover, with the help of AI railway operators can have access to advanced passenger information systems that will help in improving transportation services and will increase passenger satisfaction.
Train Surveillance and Biometric Ticketing Systems
Though controversial, Facial recognition technology is an upcoming technology that will help in making the morning commute a lot smoother. With its help, one can easily go to a ticketing face sensor area to get a ticket in no time and thus will help in cutting the delay that happens while waiting in line for long periods.
Cubic Transportation Systems is one such company that employs this technology by introducing a gateless entry system. The system uses a combination of Bluetooth and facial recognition software to help passengers quickly pay for their trip without much delay.
Video surveillance is another technological trend in railway technology that can help in detecting theft and optimizing passenger load. Eurotech has stepped forward in providing next-generation CCTV systems that can be specifically used on the rails, to meet global demand for increased railway security.
Though the railway’s system is considered one of the safest modes of transportation for long-distance travelling coming from the fact it operates o land, still many accidents do happen unfortunately due to malfunctioning of the trains from time to time.
And this is where the role of smart sensors comes into play. One of the most important factors in automating railways is sensing and utilizing huge amounts of data that comes from railways, trains, and passengers.
Many companies have started developing sensors that help to maintain trains and inspect their condition from time to time to ensure the safety of the passengers.