THE CONSTANT BOOST TO R&D IS THE DIFFERENTIATING HALLMARK OF THE SPANISH RAILWAYS. INNOVATION WILL CONTINUE IN THE FORTHCOMING YEARS TO RESPOND TO THE TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTION THAT IS TRANSFORMING SERVICES AND PROCESSES. THE AIM, TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEW TECHNOLOGIES THAT FACILITATE THE CONSTRUCTION OF SMARTER SAFER AND BETTER INTEGRATED SYSTEMS.
Spain works intensely to maintain the technological leadership that characterises its industry and provide smarter, safer and better integrated transport systems. With the aim of responding to the technological transformation and the changes it introduces in rail services. In this sense, the “Innovation Plan for transport and infrastructures 2018-2020” came into being.
This initiative has an estimated investment of more than 76 million euros in three years and seeks to integrate and coordinate all the innovation activity of the companies and institutions of the Development Group.
The strategy of this program revolves around four axes aimed at promoting digitisation and associated services. It seeks to “combine efforts and generate synergies among the different actors, unifying visions through an analysis of the current situation and a common vision for the future”.
This road to digital transformation is structured on four fundamental axes. These axes are structured, in turn, in 22 strategic lines that are specified in 70 initiatives.
The first axis, entitled “User Experience”, intends to personalise the offer according to the passenger’s preferences so that it is, insomuch as possible, fluid in all its possible facets, namely physical and digital. This block has three strategic lines of action: mobility as a service (MaaS), travel without barriers and the user’s profile. The aim is to “expand the traditional concept of travel, offering the user products and services according to their tastes and preferences, as well as user loyalty through the personalisation of the transport offer”. To accomplish this, work will be carried out on digital platforms that integrate the plan bookings, purchase and electronic payment, the multiple business models linked to on-board services as professional multi-media content. The second strategic line includes all initiatives aimed at improving the user experience by redesigning or eliminating barriers to travel, whether via terminals, on-board, or global accessibility to the network (new methods of payment, development and implementation of advanced payment systems, ticketless validation systems, implementation of security controls without shutdown, universal accessibility), as well as the positioning in interiors in transport terminals. The third line of this axis revolves around Big Data and data science, the creation of the user profile and new operator-user communication channels, amongst other aspects.
Innovation will continue in the coming years to respond to the technological disruption that is transforming services and processes
The second point, called “Smart Platforms”, is configured as a transversal axis that gives technological support to all the initiatives of this plan. These innovative Platforms gather and process information from the companies of the Development Group. In this way, quality, safety and efficiency will be improved.
Along its strategic lines, it is worth highlighting the work around the new generation stations, the inclusion of their data with the shape of the city or the integration of BIM models. The desire is also to develope the “platform of user” as a central repository of information regarding passengers. The axis also includes the creation of a smart freight platform and another of intermodal and automated logistics innovation.
In the third axis “Intelligent Routes” covers the aspects related to route digitisation, as well as the connection between vehicles, infrastructures and territories. In addition, it focuses on predicting patterns regarding mobility in order to improve the system’s efficiency and thus make the most accurate decisions.
Finally, the fourth axis of this plan is dedicated to “Energy Efficiency and Sustainability”. The lines of action are aimed at achieving a transport system that is energy efficient and respectful of the environment. Amongst the main initiatives, the use of renewable energy generation systems or the use of surplus energy for self-consumption or reinvestment into the grid is promoted.