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 ToshibaCorporate 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."