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Six innovation projects set for funding in RSSB’s TOC’16 competition

The RSSB Innovation Programme has announced the six projects being taken forward in its Train Operator Competition 2016 (TOC'16).

​The projects:

Intelligent Gatelines – Led by Cubic

This project will develop and operationally demonstrate a gateline that is capable of automatically self-reconfiguring to maximise peak and average throughput and prevent station overcrowding. The technology will identify flows of people within the station environment, and learn to predict crowds before they arrive at the gateline. Developed in partnership with Arriva, Cubic, TfL and the University of Portsmouth, the technology will allow each gate to be configured to be inflow or outflow to deliver reliability and capacity improvements and give the passengers the best experience possible.

TOC Ability – Intelligent Accessibility Hub – Led by Enable iD

TOC Ability is a digital platform concept to connect train operator and service provider systems to bring improvements to train journeys for disabled customers. The project in collaboration with Arriva, Enable ID, TFL, Atkins, GOSS Consultancy, University of Surrey and Loughborough University, will facilitate the sharing of disabled customers’ travel requirements with train operating companies, bus and taxi firms, food and beverage retailers through an ‘intelligent accessibility hub’. The hub will exchange real-time information between disabled customers and organisations to provide tailored journey requirements.

Platform Train Interface (PTI) Training using a Computer Augmented Virtual Environment (CAVE) – Led by VR Simulation Systems Ltd

The aim of this project is to reduce the number of incidents at the PTI to create a safer environment for the travelling public and for the people who work on the railway. The CAVE simulator, in association with Arriva Trains Wales and VR Simulation Systems Ltd will enable train-crew and station staff to receive training and development in a virtual reality station environment.

Stress Free Northern Journeys – Led by Thales UK

Stress-free Northern Journeys uses wearable technology in the form of fitness and activity trackers, to monitor the stress levels of volunteers (including rail customer and front-line staff) to better understand passenger wellbeing throughout their end-to-end journey. Observing the stages where customers experience stress on their journeys will potentially reveal opportunities to significantly improve the experience for both rail customers and staff. The consortium includes Arriva Rail North, Thales UK, Saturn Visual Solutions and Robertson Cooper Ltd.

Enhanced Timetable Management – Led by Resonate Group

Abellio Scotrail in collaboration with Resonate Group will investigate how the operator manages unplanned service disruption focusing on adverse weather conditions. The project will look at tools to enable rapid changing of timetables in the event of disruption using existing agile processes along with newly available machine learning techniques capable of processing significant amounts of data in a shorter period of time. This new technique will enable the operator to identify and match crucial resources to the needs of customers and develop a plan for a faster recovery to normal service. 

Towards the Inclusive Railway – Led by Siemens Rail Automation

The aim of this project is to improve the customer experience for elderly rail passengers and those who suffer from multiple minor impairments to vision, hearing, cognitive ability, reach, stretch, dexterity and mobility. Siemens Rail Automation will lead the consortium, including Keolis Amey Docklands and the University of Cambridge and Astutim to identify the barriers to inclusive transport and the remedies that can be delivered through the development and application of innovative technology. Tools will include a quantitative assessment software model with the aim of developing an app allowing personalised information to be delivered targeted to a user’s needs set against a customisable profile and location.

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