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The launch of Digital Vision for Mobility was marked with a keynote address by Atos UK & Ireland SVP for Strategy & Communications and former Transport Advisor to the Mayor of London, Kulveer Ranger, to an audience at University College London on 4 June.
Introducing the paper to illustrate the future of transport in London, the address to business management students underlined the profound transformation experienced across the mobility industry, underpinned and enabled by digital technology.
“Increasingly with population growth and denser metropolitan conurbations, we see the need to support the mass movement of people and goods with efficient, effective and integrated multi-modal public and personal transport systems,” said Kulveer Ranger. “Transport operators are beginning to rely heavily on data: harvested both from within their own networks and systems and from the personal mobile devices of individuals. To realise a vision of truly personal mobility, vast amounts of data will need to be aggregated. This will be a huge technological feat for innovative integrators and digital architects.”
The Atos Digital Vision for Mobility paper sets out how digital technology has transformed the UK’s transport sector and considers the role of AI, automation and blockchain in determining the mobility solutions of tomorrow for road and rail, broader public transport and logistics. Contributions from ITS-UK, Google, Siemens, KPMG, Worldline, TfL, MyTaxi and TechUK explain how data is being used as a driver for intelligent infrastructure and how developments like IoT can be strategically deployed to create more reliable services and more convenient access for transport users, including the rail network.
Commenting on the launch of the report, Adrian Gregory, Atos Senior Executive Vice President and CEO, UK & Ireland, said: “More change is now underway across the transport and logistics industry than at any time since the invention of the combustion engine. Vastly increased computing power and hyper-connectivity are helping to transform the operation and maintenance of vehicles and national infrastructure.”
Mark Ferrer, Operations Director – Digital Railway, Siemens Rail Automation UK, added: “Digital technologies are integral to the future of rail, enabling train operators and infrastructure owners to safely increase the capacity, reliability and efficiency of their networks and assets whilst increasing levels of passenger satisfaction. For operators and passengers, digital signalling and control systems together with advanced data and analytics are key to meeting intense demands while driving down costs – which can only be good for the UK’s economic future.”
Steam technology at Norfolk’s Bure Valley Railway has received a 21st century upgrade thanks to a Panasonic communication system.
Eastern Voice & Data, a Panasonic Focus Dealer, has installed a new communication system that has helped the tourist attraction provide better customer service, increase on site efficiency and cut costs.
The previous fixed position phone system restricted communication between staff on the platform and in the ticket office and Bure Valley Railway (BVR) wanted a solution that would increase mobility, so more time could be spent attending to their customers.
All staff can now be reached via ruggedised mobile handsets or desk handsets allowing staff to be quickly located along the route from Aylsham to Wroxham. The phone system has also been integrated with the Public Address, allowing the train guard to announce arrival and departure information using the handset.
Andrew Barnes, Managing Director at BVR, said, “We welcome up to 1500 passengers a day, so good internal communication is essential. The new system has drastically improved communication between the platform and the ticket office - helping us improve the speed and accuracy at which we can evaluate customer demand and react to it.”
The move to SIP has enabled BVR to dispense with telephone lines that were no longer required, ultimately giving a more cost-effective solution.
“Customer service is vital in the tourist industry and from the first conversation with BVR, we recognised that this was a driver for a new communication system.” said Russell Marriott, Managing Director of Eastern Voice & Data.
“Previously there was limited communication with staff on trackside. What we’ve managed to do is provide them with full communication for all staff on trackside which means they can provide a better service to their customers.” Marriott continued.
Using IP technology has enabled the station 9 miles (15 Km) away to be connected to the main site system using a VPN extension, making communication with the signal box easier, and demonstrating how IP technology can be employed to connect telephones installed anywhere.