UIC, represented by its Director General François Davenne, was invited to speak at a number of sessions at the Pro//Motion.Expo 2019 from 28 – 31 August in Moscow.
Pro//Motion.Expo is a specialised international trade fair featuring the latest developments in railway equipment, technology, infrastructure, services and logistics designed for the 1520 track gauge. It is the only international rolling stock exhibition in the 1520 space.
The purpose of the event is to showcase state-of-the-art rolling stock machinery and equipment produced by Russian and foreign engineering companies to the heads of the national railway authorities of the CIS, Europe and Central Asia as well as to railway operators and leasing companies, freight owners and carriers.
Unmanned trains, the legal definition of artificial intelligence and high-speed as a digital driver were the main focus of the plenary session that opened the Pro//Motion.Expo this year. The topic of the first meeting in the framework of the Business Programme was “Digital Transformation and Future Technologies in the Railway Industry”.
Before the start of the session, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov and General Director and Chairman of the Board of JSC Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov took part in a test trip on the Sinara/Siemens ES2G Lastochka EMU, the first Russian electric train to be operated fully automatically.
Commenting on his impressions of the trip, Maxim Akimov said: “What we saw today is the result of a major technological breakthrough. Without a doubt, this can be called a technological breakthrough, because it was made by Russian engineers, in our technical centres, Russian Railways, together with a large number of different partners who supplied solutions for this and the Russian Railways OJSC acted as the assembly centre here. This is truly a technological step into the future.”
Oleg Belozerov, General Director and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways OJSC, emphasised the importance of the demonstration on this first Russian automated Lastochka EMU at the Shcherbinka test centre near Moscow.
“Today is a historic day for Russian Railways – we are close to perfecting unmanned technology. I want to say thanks to all the developers: we use only Russian systems here. Moreover, I can say that we are one year ahead of our foreign colleagues. Russian Railways is committed to the introduction of unmanned driving technology, primarily because it will increase safety and reliability, especially for passengers,” said Oleg Belozerov.
The head of the company also noted that drivers should not worry about the fact that their work will not be in demand: “Their functionality will change somewhat, but the monitoring of the systems will still remain with the person. We will transform all together.”
Belozerov recalled: rail transport has always been reliable and safe. At the same time, ensuring cybersecurity is one of the challenges of our time, which is also projected onto new railway transport.
Russia’s Deputy Minister of Transport Vladimir Tokarev said that before introducing innovative, in particular unmanned technologies, a legal assessment of what artificial intelligence is required.
“What are the consequences when an incident occurs in a particular non-standard situation?” Who is to blame? The developer of the programme or its holder? We need to find the answer to these questions. Today we work together with a manufacturing company, developers. The role of the ministry now is not to interfere with work, but to help ensure all this normatively,” said Vladimir Tokarev.
In turn, the General Director of Transmashholding JSC Kirill Lipa said that the most important development area in the railway industry is the uniform growth of all digital technologies.
“A technology transfer system is needed. In my opinion, the biggest problem is the organisation of interaction between technology leaders. The key task is to ensure communication between them and the exchange of technologies with each other. It is necessary to do this,” said Cyril Lipa.
According to the Director General of Sinara-Transport Machines JSC, Victor Lesh, the priority in development should be given to high-speed.
“When we move faster, the whole industry will think faster, move people faster, dock projects faster. High-speed will seriously raise the level of demand from our main customer,” said Victor Lesh.
Summary of the meeting: digitalisation is no longer the goal, but a working tool. And today the question is not whether to apply it and how to do it. The next stage is on the agenda: unification, standardisation and formalisation of digital technologies.
Further information about this event can be found at the end of the edition in the news by RZD.