How Cisco IoE is assisting railways to better customer experience

Enterprise IT vendor Cisco today announced new Connected Transportation Solutions, as part of the Internet of Everything (IoE) initiative, to better customer experience.

The solution addresses challenges including uncertainty about route schedules and the condition of the railways and sporadic Internet connectivity during their commutes.

Cisco solution allows connected rail commuters to track scheduled train arrival and departure times, access alerts on delays, and share real-time travel updates with others over mobile devices.

Train commuters can also access train information through interactive signs on the station platforms that are fed real-time information coming from the movement of passengers and the status of the infrastructure around them.

Cisco says its positive train control (PTC) system can determine the train’s location and speed, and enhance the safety measures set by the train operator or engineer.

If warnings are ignored or cannot be performed, PTC will automatically apply the brakes to slow down or stop the train.

Cisco Connected Station integrates multiple in-station networks and retail communication systems into a standards-based IP network.

Retailers and advertisers can work directly with the station to provide traveler information, creating new business models and opening up new revenue opportunities.

Precise location with combined network and GPS data brings faster alerts to changes in a train’s schedule and help commuters accurately plan their trips.

This apart, video surveillance cameras and video surveillance manager on the platforms will let operations managers monitor control length at each stop, ensure optimal passenger boarding, and proactively address any issues related to the safety.

Cisco Connected Trackside, an IP infrastructure platform to support operational services, lower costs of network operations, and reduce complexity of older, proprietary networks.


Through a sensor network with computing power at the edge, Cisco fog computing, a rail operator can take analytics to aggregate data generated by the sensors and make informed decisions to avoid incidents.

Fog computing systems offer the possibility to analyze and decide, in real time, what data should be transmitted back to the cloud and what can be discarded or stored.

Operators are alerted when sensor data diverges from the norm, increasing reaction speed, saving network bandwidth, and providing enhanced visibility and control.

The network supports video surveillance, with a dedicated video surveillance media server on each car to store video archives from the onboard IP cameras, and a system to integrate all video feeds in a central location at the request of the operator.

Cisco PTC integrates onboard, trackside, wayside, signaling, and back-office systems. Though PTC mandates apply only to U.S. rail operators, rail transport is subject to strict safety regulations on a global basis. Railways outside of the U.S. can use this same technology to ensure that they comply with their country’s safety requirements.

Wim Elfrink, chief globalization officer and executive vice president, Industry Solutions, Cisco: “The rail industry stands to gain $27 billion of economic value over the next 15 years from disruptive solutions now made possible by the Internet of Everything.”

Pix source: BBC

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