The digital rail network is the railway of the future. To make it happen, it must consist of many digital technologies. Some already exist and are ready to be used today. Others originate in different industries, and we are developing them further for use on rail. Others are still in their infancy. They first need to be proven, and undergo numerous tests so that we can rapidly put into practice the experience gained. We are currently working on a large number of projects using these technologies with different partners.
Highly efficient control through artificial intelligence (AI), highly automated driving and trains that recognise their environment: technologies like this are catapulting rail services into a new era. But to bring their full power to the track, it is not enough to integrate them into existing processes. Instead, a completely new architecture of the railway system is needed. This should detail how digital operations function with all their components – and how all the pieces must work together.
The advantages: products and their interfaces with each other are clearly defined, and overlaps can quickly be identified and avoided. The modular approach allows us to replace individual components more easily: with new products that use new technologies. This makes it easier for us to integrate new technologies into the system, and approve them. By looking at how individual components interact, it is possible to work out both processes and roles in future railway operations. This way, the system architecture creates a solid foundation for the digital railway of the future.