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At your service

New digital services from Thales 

  • Predict and prevent with TIRISTM 
  • Analyse passenger journeys with NAIA
  • Intermodal cargo operations with Protostellar
  • All delivered as-a-service on our digital platform

Information is power. And for our customers, information is what keeps the wheels turning. But simply knowing what’s happening now isn’t enough. To get the most out of their networks, what our customers really want to know is what’s going to happen next.  

Our customers want to know about problems with equipment before it fails. About a third of delay minutes are caused by failure of critical front-line equipment, such as point machines, axle counters, track circuits and signals. So what’s needed is a way to predict when those things are likely to go wrong before they fail in service. 

Another challenge is understanding passenger journeys. On metro networks, for example, surprisingly little is known about passenger movements. To improve the passenger experience, operators need better data about train occupancy and platform crowding. They also need to be able to answer complex questions such as: how many passengers are getting left behind on platforms when trains are congested?

We now offer a full range of digital services to meet all these needs, and more. These are designed to run on our dedicated digital platform. Let’s look at three of them. 

TIRISTM is Thales’ analytics-driven maintenance solution for metro and main line customers. TIRISTM correlates data from assets and provides actionable insights to support decision making. Less than six months after its development, TIRISTM holds more than 110 terabytes of data from multiple clients around the world, assisting them in their decision-making processes and optimising the operation and maintenance of their assets.

TIRISTM can be used to monitor any infrastructure asset, including point machines, communications-based train control (CBTC) systems, interlockings and track circuits. “What makes TIRISTM so valuable is that it acts as an early warning system, so assets can be fixed before they fail,” explains Victor Borges, Digital Product Manager, Digital Services, Thales. “And near real-time monitoring means operators can be confident of first-time repairs. The prize is lower costs for our customers and less disruption for passengers.”

NAIA is Thales’ passenger journey analytics solution. This works by using big data and machine learning to reconstruct passenger trips and to calculate crowding levels on platforms and trains. “Insights gained from NAIA help operators to adapt their services and improve the passenger experience,” says Ludovic Lang, Head of Sales and Innovation at Thales. “NAIA is already deployed in Hong Kong and reconstructs around five million journeys daily for our customer to monitor the level of performance of its operations from a passenger standpoint.”

Freight handling is another area where digital services are having an impact. Protostellar is Thales’ digital solution for container logistics. “Protostellar is a successful start-up that broke even in its first year. We digitalise intermodal container shipments, provide solutions for digitalising ports and container terminals, and from 2019 will provide a digitalised bill of lading. All solutions are provided on a pay-per-use basis,” says Yves Sterbak, CEO of Protostellar.

Our digital services provide benefits quickly – sometimes in as little as two weeks. We use Agile, Lean Start-up and Design Thinking methodologies, so we can pivot rapidly in response to customer feedback.

As well as working in Hong Kong, we’re co-developing digital services with companies in France, Switzerland, Hungary and Dubai.

Underpinning our digital services is the Thales digital platform – a technology stack that allows seamless integration with other applications. “The platform provides a secure environment for all our customers’ digital services and applications,” says Borges. “It also allows our customers to explore their data with intuitive tools and visualisations. And it’s Cybersecured by Design, so all our customers’ data – and operations – are fully protected.”

Our digital services and digital platform underline our commitment to making it as easy as possible for our customers to make the transition to a digitalised railway. We’re also committed to making this transition as cost effective as possible. That’s why our digital solutions are offered “as-a-service”, reducing the need for upfront investment, eliminating vendor lock-in and favouring user-centred developments with our customers.