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Sensors and Connectivity series: How the IoT could streamline rail operations

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to physical devices that are connected to the internet, collecting and sharing data. Devices can range from simple sensors to wearables, home appliances and autonomous vehicles. The IoT enables communication between devices without human interaction and meaningful analytic results can be derived from the sharing of data.

 

​Predictive maintenance makes use of connected sensors from which the IoT platform can determine any impeding faults. This allows maintenance to be scheduled proactively rather than reactively. The SNCF have equipped each their latest generation of Paris commuter trains with 2000 sensors which collect around 70000 data points per month. The data from the sensors can be remotely monitored and through data analysis maintenance decisions can be made.
The efficiency of trains can be optimised by monitoring the performance of individual components through the analysis of sensor data on an IoT platform.
Journey-planning applications that give passengers real-time updates of their train as well as the level of crowding in a particular carriage can improve the overall passenger experience.

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