Through automated manufacturing, the railway and airway sectors will realise efficiency, capacity and cost benefits of Industry 4.0.
Control room of railways for train scheduling
There is no established path for success of any emerging technology, but creating a roadmap can help the rail and aviation industries to bring a more digital and connected future. The need for these industries to be smart is there because Industry 4.0, or the fourth generation of industrial activity, ensures reliability and safety to these sectors. With automation of the manufacturing industry, these sectors will realise efficiency, capacity and cost benefits of Industry 4.0. Enhanced industry-wide condition monitoring will also help reduce unplanned maintenance. Both sectors are in constant search for improvements to deliver better and secure customer experience.
Transportation systems are complex with respect to technology and operations due to the involvement of a wide range of human actors, organisations and technical solutions. There is a need to apply intelligent computerised systems for the operation and control of such complex environments, such as computerised traffic control systems for coordinating airline transportation.
Industry 4.0 is enabled by smart systems and Internet-based solutions. Maintenance is one of the application areas of self-learning, and smart systems can predict failure and trigger maintenance by making use of the Internet of things (IoT).
Fig. 1: Twelve capabilities required for the realisation of Shift2rRail vision (Credit: https://shift2rail.org)
Digital railway solution
The digital railway programme is focussed mainly on digital signalling technology, which aims to enhance safety and speed up train movement in a congested network. If all data from signalling, rolling stock and passenger traffic control systems is brought together on a common platform, the entire network will be able to communicate seamlessly and instantaneously. The key to digitisation is interoperability of systems while retaining a critical approach to data security.
Rail service information could even be integrated with other transport modes, such as bus and taxi services, to guide passengers through smooth door-to-door journeys. Holistic data management could lead to the transformational change in real-time intelligent