As we all know, technology changes at a frenetic rate. The hype around technology changes even faster. We have picked out the following major trends as those most relevant to our future direction and the platform we have designed to support it. 

A) Automation

Until recently, automation in rail has been largely restricted to replacing repetitive, manual, tasks. This has been done largely with a scope of reducing human error, improving consistency and delivering efficiencies in labour requirements. Outside of rail, the brief for automation is expanding as advances in machine learning, compute power and data acquisition create more of a drive into areas that would historically have been human-only activities. This trend is developing in rail in sectors such as scheduling, disruption recovery, predictive maintenance, and commercial settlements. First things first though – let’s make sure the network is intelligently managed to generate maximum capacity and informed journeys!

B) Internet Of Things

With the proliferation of devices now attached to networks, the ability to harness this data into real-time predictive analysis is accelerating quickly. This in turn enables fast, responsive decision making that can be co-ordinated across geographically dispersed resources, with a degree of local implementation and autonomy. The opportunity for rail to understand supply and demand capabilities and requirements in real time is huge.

C) Data Analytics

The widespread instrumentation and collation of massive data sets are offering new insights into both industrial operations and customer behaviour in many sectors. Rail businesses are starting to build their strategic IT goals around the collation and utilisation of data across the supply chain and customer base. We are heavily invested in business intelligence that is helping the rail industry with such things as long term scheduling and evolving customer experience

D) Cloud

Massive scale compute resource is now a reality. Risk averse decision making and legacy technology within the rail sector will limit the impact of cloud for another year or two but this is changing. The security of connected devices is constantly improving as part of the IOT movement. Further to this, access to limitless power (only when needed) and the removal of costly physical and maintenance footprints make the argument compelling. We have not only invested heavily in our cloud infrastructure and flexibility but have embarked on a journey that enables us to be closely involved with the evolution of public cloud and its ever burgeoning ability to add value to the smart city and connected transport movements.

E) Security

Inevitably, cybersecurity is a pressing issue for the rail sector and all other businesses with a duty of care to the general public and its employees. A strong and adaptable capability is essential. We have invested in internal resource, implemented best of breed technology and constantly monitor global commentary to ensure that we have the best-informed agenda possible.

F) Social

There are numerous changes or trends that impact the way that people consume and access transport services, from the near universal adoption of mobile technology to increased levels of urbanisation. Some evidence of changes relevant to transport include the use of internet services to make journey choices, the changing patterns of demand during urban rush hours and the increased use of personal delivery services in lieu of social purchasing expeditions.

G) Regulation

Regulation is impacting many areas of operation including data privacy, security and safety. We have a specialised project team working with our expert partners to ensure that all relevant guidelines are followed and all required certifications achieved.

We are a technology company committed to the rail industry and to delivering connected transport solutions. We have developed a powerful platform and built an excellent team so that we can support the digital railway initiative over the next two decades. The traffic management solution we are installing on the Western route is a prime example of the step changes we intend to deliver.
Our skills and architecture are internationally transferrable and we are working with leading global brands such as Intel and AWS to ensure that our intelligent traffic management can be plugged into the most innovative networks, driving the smartest cities in the world.
We are a proud member of the UK rail industry and are delighted to have created a digital platform capable of driving punctuality, capacity and overall KPI performance. Further to this, the level of insight that we are able to provide facilitates the creation of creative commercial models that enable us to support the sustainable growth and evolution of the UK rail network.

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