Horizon Scanning at RSSB

In rail, horizon scanning can be used to identify opportunities and risks beyond the current control period, informing the rail industry’s long-term thinking and foresight. Following a recommendation from the 2016 Office of Rail and Road review of RSSB, we have strengthened our horizon scanning capability to ensure we can better support the rail industry in identifying and responding to future challenges and opportunities.

RSSB horizon scanning focusses on enablers, identifying technologies and other scientific developments which can speed-up and support the delivery of the Rail Technical Strategy and the other key cross-industry strategies. We are also increasingly looking at trends and disruptors to transport demand and rail competitiveness. 

The RSSB horizon scanning activities are led by Olivier Marteaux, delivered by the research team, and supported by technical experts from across RSSB and the wider industry including academia.

Horizon Scanning Team 

Our ‘Horizon Scanning Radar’ has been developed with input from experts both from within and outside of the rail industry. This has allowed us to narrow the scope of our horizon scanning activities from ‘everything that could happen’ down to ‘things that are likely to happen and affect rail when they do’.

Emerging technologies have been mapped to the twelve Rail Technical Strategy key capabilities , and we routinely conduct Emerging Technology Assessments (ETAs)  of these enabling technologies. We continue updating and adding to this resource as new ETAs are carried out, existing ones are reviewed and new technologies emerge.

In the coming months we will be publishing our analysis of the key socio-economic trends and disruptors and their likely impact on transport demand and rail competitiveness.

To find out more about our horizon scanning process please visit our ‘Methodology ’ page.

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