A lot of men in business suits use the services of the Berlin Metro to get to the exhibition InnoTrans 2018 in Messe Berlin. In the hours before the opening, the Metro carriages are overcrowded. In such a way, the trend, sounded at the opening ceremony to a mass transition to the use of public transport and the abandonment of personal cars is being realized in practice. These people are engineers, marketers, designers in the field of transport from all over the world. They have come to share their vision of the future and get to know how others represent it. Giants like Siemens, Hitachi and Alstom are demonstrating the best of what they have created and are looking to the novelties of competitors.
Today it is not just about trains and railroads. Everyone here aspires to offer the widest possible range of services, including systems of management, data collection and analysis, all kinds of additional services of accounting, control and optimization, and also services, solving the problem of the last mile, and many other things. Intermodality, digitalization, automation and centricity is in the focus. These concepts define a real vector of development of the industry, taking its shape and flesh in expositions presented by the companies at InnoTrans. General tendencies, achieved results and perspective directions are the subject of publication.
The exhibition is very big, so neither in one day, nor over two days it would be possible to have a good look at it. We started with the exhibition's street exposition, where the existing samples of the top trains and carriages are installed on the rails, we also looked at the pavilion stands of the titans of the industry. The overall impression of what is seen in the street is the development and improvement in every single detail of the train and the carriage, the integration of everything that can only be integrated from modern technology into anything that can only move on the rails.
All or almost all passenger carriages and trains represented at the exhibition, have a low floor to ease the boarding of the passenger, including people with limited mobility.
Inside, despite the almost 30-degree heat outside, it is cool, thanks to modern air conditioning systems. The transport is equipped with surveillance cameras, on each place, there is a socket for connecting a laptop or a smartphone, a USB-connector and various systems of informing the passenger about the most significant parameters of travel.
Most trains provide Wi-Fi, changing tables, special areas for wheelchairs, etc., etc.
A changing table in the toilet is a necessary thing that increases the mobility of young mothers, usually somewhat limited in this sense.
The development of movement by bicycle in Europe is devoted much attention. According to many experts, this transport will provide great opportunities to solve many problems in the future. Hybrid bikes with electric motor are gaining popularity. There will be charging stations for such bicycles on trains.
Plus, almost everywhere you can hear or read about increased energy efficiency, reduced mass and noise, modularity and flexibility of configuration. Transport manufacturers do everything to make the passenger feel as comfortable as possible.
The exhibition InnoTrans 2018, proves that digitalization of transport is not the intention, but the fact and the direction in which the huge work has been done. The systems of parametre calculation of optimization of transport systems, financial management, collection, processing and analysis of large volumes of data, algorithms of situational adaptation of systems – all this has already been realized in operating systems.
Manufacturers of transport try to take into account every detail: if you live near the station, and it's convenient for you to get on a bicycle - your wishes are met and a special section for pedal transport is to your disposal in the carriage. If the destination is far from the point of the train arrival, you are offered a special electric car, which you can hire at the station and it will take you to where it is required. And more things are offered: if you love rock, not pop-music, this is also taken into account in your mobile device, connected to our Wi-Fi, and only music you like is offered to you, just like in the café, where the bartender has known you for a long time and is aware of all his clients' the preferences.
The work with Big Data has reached a due level in Siemens. To our question whether they represent a concept or a functioning system, we were told that the exhibition shows the 100% working version.
All the big players work with Big Data. Everyone has its own offer: it amounts to the fact that if you buy, for example, a system from Siemens, you can buy all other necessary stuff from the same manufacturer. The logic of that is as follows: you are offered the transport service from A to Z, maintenance and providing comfort to the client from the point of departure to the point of arrival.
Mobile application, detailing all kinds of urban public transport in a single system.
Autonomous electric vehicle from Siemens, as a transport option "from station to station".
The system of bicycle sharing for solving the problem of one mile belongs again to Siemens.
The interest of corporations in providing the widest range of services is clear. They will enter the market with a large and interconnected set of products, from rolling stock to adaptive logistics systems, capable of changing the schedule and traffic intensity of the transport situationally, depending on the line load. Such systems will give the passenger maximum orientation in the situation, up to the information about the preferred place on the platform, taking into account the number of people in the carriages; and location of the points of interest (shops, cafes, cultural centers, etc.) en route; the individual preferences of the transport user.
However, it is obvious, including the corporate groups-mainstreamers themselves, that for improving the quality of transport services, they should cooperate with each other and other providers of mobility. There's also a lot of talk about that. Companies are open to interaction in principle and are in constant search for new solutions, acquiring special relevance, taking into account the active demand for means of trans-communicative collaboration: the system capable to effectively fill niches, emerging in the process of global integration of transport. SkyWay can be considered to belonging to such systems in the initial stages of integration.
The vehicle, shown at the InnoTrans 2018, is something fundamentally new in the world of rail transport. It is able to accelerate to 500 kilometers per hour, while spending only 0.93 kilograms of fuel per passenger for 100- kilometer distance, which is unprecedentedly small. At a speed of 100 km/h this figure will be only 0.105 kilograms. This is achieved thanks to the high efficiency of the steel wheel-steel rail system, as well as to the fact that the vehicle is moving on the flyover. Due to this, as well as to the unique shape of the vehicle, the developers managed to reach the CX indicator, equaling 0.06, which is close to the theoretical limit. The control of the Skyway high-speed vehicle is fully automatic, owing to which it is possible to provide a minimum safe movement interval of 2 seconds. Performance at such parameters can exceed 200 thousand passengers per day. Cost of travel due to high efficiency, can be significantly lower in comparison with modern high-speed roads, say nothing about planes.
SkyWay stand differs from everything that we have seen at the exhibition. While the rest are busy optimizing the various well-known vehicles' components, here is a fundamentally new solution. But, on the other hand, SkyWay preaches the same values as other exhibitors. Intermodality, digitalization, automation and centricity are written in the philosophy of the string transport from the very beginning. SkyWay, like other companies, offers not just rolling stock or roads, but the whole range of services, allowing to accompany the passenger from the point of departure to the point of arrival with maximum comfort. In this regard, the technology is even more preferable, as the configuration of SkyWay systems allows closer approach to the form of mobility, which will be both personal, affordable and environmentally friendly. Here disappears the curse of infrastructural giants, which again and again are trying to make public transport, which implies some limitations of personal space, as comfortable for everyone as possible. SkyWay can go the simplest way by offering personal transport at the price of public one.
Use of blockchain-technologies, work with Big Data, creation of automatic systems of management of complexes with possibilities of adaptation of a schedule depending on volumes of passenger traffic, innovative developments in sphere of infrastructure construction, creation additional services for people with mobility limitations, etc, demonstrate the systemic approach of SkyWay and are aimed at the full inclusion in the ongoing processes of transformation of the local and global transport system.
The InnoTrans exhibition is gaining momentum. Stands and pavilions are the environment of professionals' communication, exchange of experience and search for joint solutions. The SkyWay engineers are getting acquainted with colleagues from the world of big transport, they are getting acquainted with us. The SkyWay high-speed and other solutions were noticed and carefully studied by the representatives of all major companies-participants at InnoTrans. They highly appreciate the potential of the technology, noting that in the scope of possible application, as well as the flexibility of the approach, so important today, SkyWay is unparalleled. High-speed personal transit, urban public transport in communication systems between existing logistics hubs, communication with the suburbs, creation of channels of transportation of passengers and cargoes over water obstacles and in mountainous areas, port container transportation and much more. The interaction is very active. The team of engineers and managers, led by SkyWay General Designer Anatoliy Yunitskiy, have held dozens of meetings and negotiations. And, already traditionally, our exhibition area is among the most visited.