Planning and building an automated metro line involves additional challenges compared to a traditional non-automated line. The UITP Observatory of Automated Metros has identified these differences and issued recommendations for future fully automated operation (FAO) projects in a new report.
One of the main challenges for FAO projects is the particularly high level of systems integration required – even more so than in “conventional” projects, which already rely on complex systems. The report emphasises that it is therefore crucial that the contractors’ scope of work covers all interfaces and integration activities at each specific phase of the project life cycle.
For operators of non-automated lines, putting in place the organisation structure for a fully automated line is a significant challenge due to potential disruption and the cultural shift required from employees. This may require long negotiations and a lot of senior management’s time and resources.
While they are a challenge, changes and innovation in the organisation can become a strategic opportunity to develop a more sustainable organisation with highly satisfied and more committed employees. Therefore, this process has to be one of the top priorities in the project management of a FAO line, the report argues.
While automated operation offers a glimpse into the future of metros, as the current state-of-the art, the concept of digital metros can be further exploited beyond train movement. This will be the topic of a session at the Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition (SITCE), co-organised by UITP and the Singapore Land Transport Authority. This edition, held from 9-11 July 2018, is merged with the UITP International Rail Conference.
The session, called ‘Full automatic operation today, autonomous trains tomorrow?’, will comprise an opening speech by Dr Ahmed Miske El Hadrami, Technical Director and Senior Design Authority at Thales Transportation, followed by a debate with experts from RATP Development, Traffic Control Technology, Transports Lausannois and Keolis.