KSA to transform mass transit with autonomous trains

Fabrice Toulouse, director of smart mobility at Alstom.
Updated 17 July 2018
0

KSA to transform mass transit with autonomous trains

When Saudi Arabia’s residents imagine the transportation of tomorrow, the popular image is of autonomous cars plowing Riyadh’s King Abdullah Road, carrying workers, university students, and football fans alike. But with the Saudi government heavily investing in mass transit and advanced technology, the likely future of transport is quite different. Automation is set to transform not only cars but also shared transportation, such as metros, trains, trams, and buses. 

As automation progresses, the costs of sensors and artificial intelligence are decreasing, while the computing power of connected vehicles is increasing. As a result, the Kingdom is at the forefront of using automation to make mass transit faster, cheaper, safer, and more energy efficient — especially on metros and mainline trains in the short term, and buses and trams further ahead.

For example, the Saudi government is heavily investing in autonomous transportation across the country, including the driverless Riyadh Metro, with lines 4, 5, and 6 being developed by the Alstom-partnered FAST consortium. Further in the Kingdom, autonomous transportation will be a key part of the transportation plans for the NEOM Smart City, and regionally, automated transport was a key topic at the recent MENA Transport Congress hosted by the UITP, the international organization for public transport.

In the Saudi cities of the future, automation of signaling and trains could make its biggest impact in enhancing the effectiveness of metros and mainline trains.

Alstom, as a global leader in mobility solutions, is exchanging best practices in autonomous transport with the Middle East, and is supporting rail innovation in the Kingdom by conducting initial dynamic tests for the Riyadh Metro Project at the FAST consortium Line 4 Depot Test Track. Line 4 will feature driverless trains, state-of-the-art signaling, safe and secure stations, and advanced real-time passenger information systems.

“Automation can significantly reduce traffic congestion, costs, and pollution. It can increase travel speeds and rapidly boost the country’s urban economic growth. 

As the Kingdom ramps up its investment in smart cities and Saudi Vision 2030, government organizations and the private sector need to take the next six months to plan the future of automated transport,” said Fabrice Toulouse, director of smart mobility at Alstom. 


Dubai Crown Prince visits STC booth at GITEX 2018

Updated 20 October 2018
0

Dubai Crown Prince visits STC booth at GITEX 2018

Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum recently visited the Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) booth at the GITEX Technology Week 2018 in Dubai. He was received by Senior Vice President of Enterprise Business at STC Dr. Tareq Enaya.

Sheikh Hamdan reviewed the latest telecom and IT services and solutions launched by the company. STC said its new services are in line with its role as a driver of digital transformation in Saudi Arabia as per Saudi Vision 2030. 

STC recently inaugurated its latest innovation in in-flight call technology through a live call made 30,000 feet above on board of a plane heading to Jeddah from Riyadh, with the video call being directly transmitted to the GITEX conference.

The service allows for in-flight video calls by equipping airplanes with mobile data and broadband through signals from LTE ground-based stations, which boast many features compared to older technologies that rely on satellites. This will enable airlines and other stakeholders to provide better services than currently adopted older standards at a lower cost per Mb, higher data transfer rate of up to 75 Mb/s, and a lower delay time.

Dr. Enaya said: “In-flight call technology is one of many other examples that illustrate the way STC is working with its partners and customers to provide the latest products and services and thus improve services offered to airlines and service providers.The new in-flight call service offers state-of-the-art features, including a stable connection and high-speed connectivity. This makes it indeed the next generation of transmission technology, which will open new horizons in terms of products and services.”

He further pointed out to all the areas that could benefit from this new technology, including airlines, media and entertainment, natural resource exploration, safety and security, and telecommunications. 

STC staff were on hand at GITEX to address its potential customers on the new technology. The company has said that its GITEX participation will focus on the newest technological solutions and that it will shed light on its specialized services in the fields of cloud computing, cybersecurity, Internet of Things, blockchain applications, and big data analysis.

STC is currently working with various stakeholders and partners to enrich this new technology, including Nokia for LTE phone devices, Thales for onboard equipment, EAD for supplementary technical certification, AMAC for maintenance, repairs, and operation for onboard installation, and Sky Prime, a private charter airline on whose planes the technology is being tested directly.