Veea Systems and Angel Trains have completed a joint project demonstrating smart rail edge computing and mesh wireless networking for use on-board trains.
The system makes it easier to connect new technology to existing trains, with potential to benefit train operators, on-train staff and passengers. The network allows local applications to be developed to improve the functionality of passenger information, CCTV, and passenger entertainment systems.
To demonstrate the system’s functionality, eight rail-certified VeeaHubs were fitted into modular enclosures, and used to form a local wireless network on-board 4 of Angel Trains’ Mk3 HST trailer vehicles. The deployment of new technology into the fabric of a working train demonstrates the potential for rail operators to update their fleets more efficiently without the need to remove the vehicles from service. They can enable far more flexible staff communications, greater passenger engagement, and monitoring of key systems to allow predictive maintenance. Additionally, once the VeeaHubs have been installed further feature rich applications can be deployed almost instantaneously to a single carriage or an entire fleet of carriages using remote cloud management software.
The two companies demonstrated staff communication, predictive maintenance and passenger entertainment applications, showing the potential that exists for independent app developers to provide future use-case driven capabilities for the VeeaHub family of products.
“The rail industry can reap huge benefits from the adoption of digital services on-board for passenger services, operational services and efficient IoT services. The successful end of project demonstration showed how transformative this technology can be with applications available to deliver greater efficiencies, safety, security, information and entertainment, with the hardware platform deployed in a matter of hours without the need for a major overhaul of carriages,” Alan Jones, CEO of Veea Systems, said.
The two companies were selected to receive grant funding to develop the project as part of the “First of a Kind: Demonstrating Tomorrow’s Trains Today” competition, funded by the UK’s Department for Transport and delivered by Innovate UK.