Railways to introduce Smart Trains

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    10th Oct, 2018

Context

  • Indian Railways unveiled a maiden ‘smart coach’ at the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli.   

About

  • Named ‘Smart Trains’, it is a pilot project to boost efficiency and improve the safety and security of commuters.
  • It has new features like black box and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCTVs and Internet of Things to match international standards.
  • The coaches have been equipped with sensors that can detect defects on bearings, wheels and railway tract, giving constant inputs to those in the control room to avoid accidents, carry out maintenance, and to improve efficiency of operations.
  • 100 such coaches are to be rolled out in the near future.

Black Box:

  • Indian Railways is using it for the first time.
  • It has a powerful multi-dimensional interface to provide information on passengers and coach conditions on real-time basis.
  • The black box will act as a coach control unit with communication interface. Communication interface for emergency intercom for commuters, digital destination boards, train reservation display modules, and CCTVs with remote monitoring.

AI-powered Closed Circuit Television (CCTV):

  • Six CCTV cameras would be installed in coach to provide live recording which will be accessed from the control room. This would be an advantage for law enforcer.
  • AI-powered CCTVs will help those in the control room to keep a tab on untoward incidents and on the behaviour of on-board staff.
  • An emergency talk-back system will enable communication between passengers and the guard during crisis.

Internet of things:

  • Smart trains will use internet of things-based system for wheel, coach and track monitoring.
  • Sensors will monitor the wheels, bearing and hard spots on the track and will provide data through GPS/GPRS to remote server for diagnosis and remedial measures.
  • Each coach will have Passenger Information and Coach Computing Unit (PICCU), an industrial grade computer, and will monitor the coach maintenance and passenger interface.

                                                                                                                  Terms:

    Black box:  a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its known input, output and transfer characteristics without the need for knowledge of its internal workings.

    Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer, a computer-controlled robot, or a software think intelligently, in the similar manner the intelligent humans think.

    Internet of Things (IoT): It is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices. The term is closely identified with RFID as the method of communication, although it also may include other sensor technologies, wireless technologies or QR codes.

    The IoT is significant because an object that can represent itself digitally becomes something greater than the object by itself. No longer does the object relate just to its user, but it is now connected to surrounding objects and database data. When many objects act in unison, they are known as having ambient intelligence.

Significance

  • Introduction of smart trains will help Indian Railways to come at par with international standards of railway transportation.
  • Trains incubated with high technology and control system will help in mitigating train accidents which has been a cause of concern for the railways as well as for commuters.
  • It will boost ‘Make in India’ initiative and can become a model to be replicated by other transport sectors.
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