The technologies investigated in the Safe4RAIL-3 project have a large potential impact on the NG-TCMS by passing from the prototype to TRL 7. The consortium is in a firm position to maximize the impact and exploit the results through their existing activities and relationships in the rail industry as described in the next the next sub-sections.

Reduction of Life-Cycle Costs (LCC) and improvement of operational reliability by using the Drive-by-Data concept

The integration of Drive-by-Data (DbD) concept in all devices of the TCMS network (i.e. ETBNs, CSs and EDs) will improve reliability by at least 50% due to the determinism provided by the TSN technology and next additional features:

  • Mixed-criticality communication: both reliable time-critical and non-critical traffic will be allowed,
  • Interoperability between different implementations of DbD communication devices,
  • Vendor-independent implementations of two DbD ETBN and two DbD CS by two different manufacturers,
  • Maturity increase to higher TRL levels (6-7) closer to the final market,
  • Accurate train maintenanceUsability and industrialization through a first version of configuration tools towards increasing usability and reducing commissioning costs associated to the DbD devices configuration.
The actual LCC reduction (Reduction of Life-Cycle Costs (LCC) and improvement of operational reliability by the use of a Functional Distribution Framework combined with the Integrated Modular Platform

The use of a Functional Distribution Framework will have a significant impact on the Life-CycleCosts of the train by an estimated reduction up to 50 % of development andmaintenance costs as follows:

  • Reduction of development costs through an Application Programming Interface (API), which eases the integration of subsystems n the control units of the train,

  • Reduction of maintenance costs through the simplification of development of new subsystems or modification of existing ones by the use of the FDF. Moreover, the FDF allows a transparent replacement of subsystems of different providers, as the control unit of the train is abstracted from the specific hardware used for the subsystem. 

The actual LCC reduction will be evaluated during the cooperation with the railway manufacturers in the CFM demonstrators

Reduction of LCC by the use of the Virtual Certifications Simulation Framework

The integration of a train subsystem in a Simulation Framework reduces significantly its Life Cycle Costs and results but also has an strong impact in the certification costs as follows

Reduction of LCC, and increased reliability, capacity and flexibility by the interoperable Wireless Train Backbone and Wireless Consist Network

The replacement of wired communications by wirelesscommunications at the train backbone and inside the consist will have a strongimpact in terms of reduction of Life-Cycle Costs (LCC), as well as an increasein capacity, reliability and flexibility in train communications:
  1. The reduction in LCC will come from the decrease incabling inside the train, as well as the subsequent reduction in weight andmaintenance costs.
  2. The increase in capacity will be due to the use ofmm-wave links in the train backbone, which allow high-bandwidth communications.
  3. The replacement of inter-consist mechanical contactsby wireless technology will increase the reliability of the communications inthe train backbone.
  4. Wireless communications at backbone and consistslevels will also increase the flexibility in the configuration of the trains(e.g. easier coupling and decoupling of consists, quick rearrangements ofnetwork topologies, etc), as well as the deployment of new applications such asvirtual coupling.

Other economic and environmental impacts

  • More competitive European railway industry: Safe4RAIL-3 will provide technologies for more flexible and reliable railway communications, as well as effort-less integration and maintenance of train functionalities, thus reducing manufacturing costs and time to market, and eventually leading to a more competitive European railway industry. The Safe2RAIL-3 results and innovations will support to the competitiveness of the EU industry by placing the European train operators in the technological leadership supported by a combination of radical innovation (Wireless Train control, Drive-by-Data concept) and technical standards, setting an effective advantage for the European industry.
  • Practical and Multidisciplinary European technology: Safe4RAIL-3 consortium will bring together companies working on embedded railway electronics to cooperate efficiently towards novel solutions that are practical, usable and interoperable for the railway industry.
  • The consortium will also include partners from different technology fields, especially from automotive and wireless communications to obtain multidisciplinary technical solutions
  • Carbon footprint and energy efficiency Safe4RAIL-3 will work towards solutions that reduce electronics, cabling and weight of the train, therefore saving raw materials, fuel consumption, and reducing the amount of waste at the end of the lifecycle of the train.
  • Application in other fields device-to-device (D2D) wireless communications to be developed within Safe4RAIL-3 represent a strong link between railway and automotive sectors. Moreover, D2D communications will pave the way to future applications involving the exchange of information between trains, cars and pedestrians.
  • Benefits to the end users Safe4RAIL-3 will bring more robust systems and fewer physical components, thus increasing the operational reliability of the railway system. Moreover, thanks to the improvements in TCMS (brain and the communications backbone) trains will fail less often in service which will increase the capacity of the railway system. Also, the flexibility of coupling and decoupling consists will allow less service disruptions due to lack of operational availability.