Essex duo to help develop the UK’s first ‘smart’ train

Essex duo to help develop the UK’s first ‘smart’ train

Saffron Walden-based LPA Connection Systems and the University of Essex are working together to help create the UK’s first ‘smart’ train.

The duo have received funding from InnovateUK, the government’s innovation agency, to develop high-speed rail communication systems to meet the needs of future rail passengers and operators.

The 36 month collaboration will look to improve ‘train-to-shore’ communication speeds using cutting-edge wireless technology.

This means passengers will be able to access better wi-fi services and through the Internet of Things (IoT) will be able to tailor their experience through their smart devices such as phones and tablets.

LPA Connection Systems managing director Greg Howell said: “We are looking to deliver very high speed internet for passengers and at the same time want to ensure trains in the future are equipped to exploit the developing ‘Internet of Things’ – enabling different technologies to easily communicate with each other.

“This will allow personal technology, such as smart phones, to connect with other systems on the train. This will improve the train user’s experience as the underpinning technology we are developing will support exciting innovations such as ticketless boarding and real-time travel information and advertising.

“Passengers will also benefit from greater train reliability as train operators will be able to use remote control monitoring of onboard systems in order to detect any train systems that are degrading and inform maintenance teams so that they can plan preventative maintenance before a system fails.”

Telecommunications innovator Professor Stuart Walker from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering will lead the University’s contribution to the project and will be closely supported by Dr John Woods, a pioneer in embedded electronics.


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