Greater Anglia turns to Toshiba’s AI solutions to enhance train timetabling and improve customer convenience
September 10, 2019
Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation
Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation
September 10, 2019, London: Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation (hereinafter “TDX”) today announces a partnership with Greater Anglia (hereinafter “GA”), enabling the UK train operator to create and deploy train timetables using Toshiba’s AI-enabled Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) technology for routes in East England.
TDX, Toshiba Corporation (hereinafter “Toshiba”) and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (hereinafter “TDSL”) formed alliance with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (hereinafter “Mitsui”) for digital transformation and started to be engaged in creating outcome co-creation business. In this project, Mitsui, as an investor in both GA and TDX, has been working strategically toward realizing this project. Toshiba and TDSL have also been supporting TDX through Toshiba Corporate Research & Development Center’s cutting-edge AI technology and TDSL’s digital solution technology. The success of the comprehensive effort on this project led to this team winning the contract.
The project aims to improve operational performance and customer convenience through the creation of more robust train timetables, formulated with Digital Twin *1 technology embedded with AI – one of CPS solutions. More specifically, this means that TDX will digitally organize and consolidate data which was previously managed in silos – such as Track infrastructure, Rolling stock performance, timetables, and rules/regulations – in order to accurately reproduce a real-world train operations environment within a cyberspace.
Various simulations and modeling engines based on the technology cultivated within Toshiba’s railway business will analyse and conduct simulations under various conditions, and subsequently provide GA with new knowledge in order to assist the creation of more advanced and robust timetables. Also we will apply new TOSHIBA original Timetable Risk Evaluation methodology which jointly developed with TOSHIBA R&D center and TDX. These Digital Twin approach will reduce the Risk of Train Delays, improve customer convenience and satisfaction, and ultimately lead to improved management efficiency for the company.
After the privatisation of railways in the UK, the train operation and infrastructure management became separated. Work for creating train plans is extremely complex since multiple railway companies use the same railway track infrastructure to provide services. Since the large-scale railway delay problems which occurred in other parts of the UK in May 2018, the nation’s train operators have encountered increasingly strong demand for more accurate railway operations.
With GA switching to new rolling stocks, operating new services, and deploying various additional measures to further improve customer satisfaction, added strain and complexities have been placed on its timetabling operations. The partnership with Toshiba will help overcome these challenges, providing GA with a scientific, Digital Technology based approach to achieving higher performance operations.
The roll-out of the project follows the successful completion of a feasibility study, conducted last year by Toshiba, Mitsui and GA on its West Main Line. This tested the possibility of improving services by creating timetables based on Digital Twin technology. The successful outcome of this study preceded the agreement between the companies.
Toshiba Group will, through the alliance with Mitsui, accelerate outcome co-creation digital business to generate new economic value in the global market.
Regarding this project, Keith Palmer, head of performance and planning at Greater Anglia said: "Our work with Toshiba and their Digital Twin system is a really exciting for Greater Anglia and their customers. The system will enable us to build better timetables delivering better performance and reduced journey times based on the excellent practices used in Japan and beyond."
Noriyasu Okitani, President of TDX, said: "We’re delighted to be working with Greater Anglia to deliver enhanced train timetabling through the use of our Digital Twin technology. Along with Mitsui and Greater Anglia, we have successfully demonstrated the role AI and machine-learning can play in delivering more accurate and efficient train timetables, which in turn deliver improved customer convenience and satisfaction. We now intend to accelerate the deployment of CPS technology in the sector, with plans to expand the range of services we provide, and examine the role solutions such as Digital Twin can play in optimizing rolling stock and crew plans, railway maintenance and more."
Yasushi Shimizu, General Manager of TRANSPORTATION PROJECT DIV. MOBILITY BUSINESS UNIT I Mitsui & Co., Ltd. Said: "Mitsui intends to contribute to the development of UK rail market by bringing capable partners through our global network to deliver innovative solutions. We are excited with this opportunity to support Greater Anglia’s train operation service that would lead to enhancing the value of the project by introducing Toshiba’s Digital Twin and Artificial Intelligence based train planning solution and consulting service, together with Toshiba Corporation."
TDX will build a Digital Twin for train operation in cyberspace based on real world data that was previously managed separately by GA, such as line infrastructure, vehicle performance, timetables, and rules/regulations, and use it to conduct simulations of train travel and analysis of operation plans. Gained new insights from simulations and analysis will then be applied in real operation plans.
- *1 Digital Twin: Faithfully and accurately reproducing an on-site phenomenon digitally to enable advanced simulations/future predictive analysis and analysis of past phenomena.
About Greater Anglia
The new Greater Anglia franchise began operating on 16 October 2016. We provide intercity, commuter and rural services throughout Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire, including the Stansted Express service. We’re responsible for over 3,000 employees, operate 1,300 train services per day and we’re at 133 stations.
Greater Anglia is transforming the railway in East Anglia. We’re replacing every single train with brand new trains with air conditioning, plug and USB points and fast free wifi, which come into service from 2019. We’re introducing better timetables with more frequent services and more peak-time seats into London. Follow our transformation story at www.greateranglia.co.uk/newtrains/latest-news.
Toshiba Corporation leads a global group of companies that combines knowledge and capabilities from over 140 years of experience in a wide range of businesses—from energy and social infrastructure to electronic devices—with world-class capabilities in information processing, digital and AI technologies. These distinctive strengths position Toshiba to become one of the world’s leading cyber-physical-system technology companies. Guided by the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed to People, Committed to the Future,” Toshiba contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that lead to a better world. The Group and its 129,000 employees worldwide secured annual sales surpassing 3.6 trillion yen (US$33.3 billion) in fiscal year 2018. Find out more about Toshiba at www.toshiba.co.jp/worldwide/about/index.html
About Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation
As the driver of Toshiba Group’s digital solutions business, Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation delivers system integration and digital service solutions that support companies in accelerating their digital transformation, and also plays a central role in Toshiba’s transition to become one of the world’s leading cyber-physical technology companies, with advanced capabilities extending from manufacturing to AI. Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation contributes to society’s positive development with services and solutions that open the way to a better world, and that realize the Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group: “Committed to People, Committed to the Future.” https://www.toshiba-sol.co.jp/en/
About Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation
As a global business innovator in digital transformation that promotes cyber-physical systems, we work closely with our customers to create value. We draw on the knowledge and achievements that Toshiba Group has cultivated over many years in a wide range of businesses, leverage the strengths of digital technologies such as AI and IoT, and focus our expertise on the key/essential business domains of energy, social infrastructure, manufacturing and mobility. From consulting to service design, we identify potential problems and the seeds for next generation growth we deliver consistent services all the way through to confirmation of value creation.
https://toshiba-dx.com/toshiba-dx/ (Japanese version only)