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Transport Systems and Integration TIC - your views urgently required

If you have an interest in the formation of a TIC around Transport Systems and Integration, CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE TRANSPORT SYSTEMS AND INTEGRATION TIC GROUP NOW

Transport Systems and Integration is one of the ten areas on the shortlist of future Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs) announced recently by the Technology Strategy Board. There will now be a period of around 6 months to develop and hone the case for a Transport Systems and Integration TIC.

To help develop the thinking and support a new discussion space has been set up on _connect at /web/transport-systems-and-integration/overview where you can post your thoughts on what the scope of such a TIC would be, what the TIC would look like and what it could offer in terms of actual business impact.

Critically, a case needs to be buit to demonstrate what a TIC for Transport Systems and Integration provides that is not already available?

If you believe that this TIC is of value and would prove beneficial, it is in your interest to join the group to show this, and use it to make your case.    




3 people have had something to say so far

In response to the request for comment, please find attached a number of areas of potential interest to LU and areas of possible engagement. There may also be other areas.

LU’s Interests

The development of railway TICs may facilitate innovation over a number of facets of new technology.
A number of exemplar ideas would be :

1. Provide an environment where novel approaches to Passenger, Service, Operations or Maintenance functions can be brought together.

• The use of personal mobile communication-based devices is ubiquitous, but are not currently operable other than surface or near-surface in the LU environment. Communication with LU service information systems or other transport network systems could provide significant benefit to the travelling public. Novel solutions are needed to address such issues, but investment in this area is not a priority for LU.
• Introducing new features and functions into an Operational Control Room facility requires significant investment and negotiation. In particular, it is not clear if new features deliver real benefit to the Operations staff, or are an unwanted, unneeded distractions.
• An environment where new concepts of Operational Control and advanced Operational Management can be explored would provide a valuable testing ground where innovators could develop their ideas (in a realistic environment), and where those who understand Operational reality of running a railway can assess the benefit and help drive the ideas to become workable, usable solutions.

2. Provide an environment for the combination of new and existing “best in class” equipment, promoting the standardisation of railway protocols and interfaces so enabling opportunity for wider access for smaller innovators (and niche value-add markets). Such an approach would also reduce costs for suppliers and clients. Such a precedence has resulted in significant benefit in the Communications and Computer technology industries.
• Permit development of high-end value-add “Service” features (such as Optimisation and Business Information Management) using wider industry-standard approaches that are difficult to bring into the Rail industry due to a small supply chain.

3. Enable the development and sharing of sophisticated Railway models, to enable accurate prediction of behaviour and performance of the railway.
• Presently, these are developed in a bespoke fashion and are seldom shared. Models are costly and take considerable time to develop.
• New service management features (e.g. Automatic Train Regulation (ATR)) are presently not extensively deployed in the Rail Industry. Effective and efficient use of these features and corresponding Customer and Business impacts are often poorly understood. An environment for the development and sharing of modelling and simulation for such features will enable their use to be adopted more readily and with greater understanding in the benefits that they may deliver.

4. Enable the development of Testing facilities, where real equipment and sophisticated models are available to both Suppliers and Clients that would be otherwise costly to develop and maintain individually
• The Rail Industry, as other domains is becoming increasingly reliant on software-intensive systems to deliver Safety, Reliability, Operability and Passenger Services. Testing of new systems requires a step-change review of the methods being used. An environment for the development of the methods, approaches, models and simulators will enable progress towards a common “best in class” approach, leveraging from similar industries (such as Aerospace and Defence).
• London Underground (LU) has been actively seeking the improvement of simulators in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Line Upgrade programmes. A recent report commissioned by LU concludes that the business benefits of maximising the use of simulators are substantial. LU has expressed interest as a potential user of such a facility for; additional test support for its supply chain in delivery of Line Upgrades, and carrying out tests that its supply chain’s simulators may not be capable of.

LU’s participation

As a significant beneficiary in the possible development of Rail Industry TIC facilities,
LU would be interested in being involved as a major stakeholder for the review and direction
of specific proposals, perhaps assisting with evaluation and recommendation.

Additionally, it is possible that LU would consider participating, directly, in some proposals that deliver clear benefit in partnership with industry innovators.
LU has a number of related R&D activities and would be interested in leveraging them.

It is possible that LU could host (or support, e.g. in conjunction with other partners, such as Network Rail) a Technology Innovation Centre, to develop a “Centre Of Excellence” open for wider Rail Industry use and leverage common interests and developments.
Posted on 13/06/11 10:18.

Your article is quite thought provoking, my expertise is very much in freight and I do have some reasonable basic knowledge in rail freight operations and anything that could help improve rails overall offering would be seen very favourably by the freight industry and may encourage more use of rail in the future.

It would be good to hear from some proper rail folk out there and generate some thoughts on the issue .
Posted on 14/06/11 13:34 in reply to Andrew Tunnicliffe.
Around 60 people selected from organisations which had expressed an interest in seeing the formation of a Transport-related TIC were invited to a highly interactive workshop in London on 28th July to help identify and shape a compelling argument in favour of this. We'd like to thank everyone who gave their valuable time to attend and contribute to this process.

Andrew Everett of the Technology Strategy Board will be reviewing the outputs of the day. He is also inviting suggestions for potential business opportunities that you think the TIC could support through accelerated development, along with an indication on the potential Global Market Value for that business opportunity. He will be consolidating these over the coming weeks, as part of the process of putting together the business case for a transport-related TIC, so if you have any contribution to this, please post here or email Andrew.Everett@tsb.gov.uk.
Posted on 05/08/11 08:47.

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