The Smart Station arrive with IoT and Artificial Intelligence aboard

Rail will play a critical role in the new, more sustainable transportation ecosystem the public demands. In order to improve its appeal and the passenger experience, Indra is developing new digital solutions and services in areas such as interoperability, ticketing, new means of payment and station information systems.

A good example of this is the new ticket sales equipment, with a look and usability similar to that of a Smartphone, and the new access control systems, much more futuristic and spacious, developed by the company for the Madrid Metro service and already implemented in stations such as Gran Vía.

Designed in collaboration with Metro Madrid for Station 4.0, the Station Technology Center that Metro is creating is a testing ground for the new digitized and innovative transport environment, allowing information, advertising and multimedia content to be displayed to passengers, who can interact with it through a touch screen. It is also set up for direct validation with bank card and cell phone, thanks to new readers.

These and other new technologies help improve the service, information and entertainment offered to passengers, and broaden the business horizons of infrastructure managers. For example, the use of big data can help increase the volume of purchases they make at the station before their trip and increase revenues not linked to the mobility service by analyzing passenger behavior.

In addition to offering these benefits, technology is the best ally for improving the sustainability, safety and energy efficiency of transportation infrastructures. Among other projects, Indra has developed for the Renfe Cercanías suburban rail service a pioneering solution for accessing the train with a bank card, already available in Málaga and Madrid, which helps the operator save on paper and, by avoiding physical contact, reduce the probability of Covid-19 infections.

"Today it is possible to reduce and streamline station consumption through intelligent asset and space management, real-time analysis and proposed actions. For example, the information and climate control systems can be switched on shortly before the scheduled trains pass through without the need to keep them continuously active throughout the station," explains Juan March, Indra's Global Head of Rail&Transit for the mobility market.

In terms of security, the intelligent real-time video surveillance of the facilities, which Indra has implemented throughout the Sydney rail network, together with the comprehensive management of possible emergencies and the integration of physical security and cybersecurity allow for reduced incident response times and the continuous improvement of action processes.

Real-time 360-degree vision

"Our platform for unified infrastructure operation is capable of integrating the data provided by the different station monitoring and control elements, such as sensors, security systems, facility management systems or hubs, to provide a 360-degree view in real time. In addition, In-Mova Space, our platform specialized in smart mobility, applies advanced data analytics and deep learning algorithms to allow for more predictive operation and maintenance. It also facilitates decision-making and rapid attention to incidents, thanks to its high degree of automation," March explains.

As it is an intelligent and secure cloud platform, it is possible to access all this infrastructure management information from a web application, allowing "remote control" of the facilities and integrating the intelligent management of different stations. All of this results in greater efficiency and cost reduction.

The Málaga Metro service already has an integrated control center created by Indra to manage suburban railway and station traffic, as well as the ticket sales and access control systems for all its stations. Thanks to a supervision and control tool for all fixed installation systems (stairs, elevators, ventilation, low voltage, etc.), video surveillance system, access control, intercom and public address system, the operator has complete control of all metro systems from their workstation.

Importance of communications

Communications play a key role in turning the connected and intelligent Station 4.0. into a reality.

In the case of infrastructures, Indra is working for Adif on the project to install a new fixed telecommunications and Wi-Fi network in the stations of Madrid Puerta de Atocha, Madrid Chamartín, Pontevedra, Salamanca and Bilbao Abando Indalecio Prieto, which will provide service to Adif, railway and telecommunications operators, as well as a Wi-Fi service project in the stations for all riders.

The project is part of the network with which Adif wants to move towards a hyper-connected station integrated into the smart ecosystem, which includes cities, regions and other stakeholders.


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