Thales and SBS Transit Collaborate to deliver Better Travel Experience for MRT Passengers in Singapore

With a strong commitment towards creating digital railways of the future, Thales and SBS Transit have strengthened their collaboration by working together to employ new digital technologies to deliver a safer and more comfortable passenger journey for Singapore’s MRT commuters.

  • Adopting the agile practices of Thales’ Digital Factory in Singapore, Passenger Density Technology will provide real-time insights on passenger density which was co-conceptualised with SBS Transit since February 2020.
  •  The digital solution will enable effective crowd management at MRT stations, enhancing overall passenger comfort and travel experience for commuters.

Today, Thales brings its strengths in video analytics, AI and cybersecurity to the rail domain, with this new digital solution that enables effective crowd management at train stations. Leveraging SBS Transit’s existing CCTV networks and live ticketing data, this new solution is ready for test to provide real-time information on passenger density at station platforms and on-board trains; eliminating the need for train weighing which is currently being used to measure density. With this solution, which can detect crowdedness and alert staff to the situation, SBS Transit’s station managers have heightened situational awareness to make informed decisions to ease congestion more efficiently, and enhance comfort and the travel experience for commuters. 

Harnessing the agile methodology practised in the Thales Digital Factory, this solution was co-conceptualised in February 2020 when Thales and SBS Transit first signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on future digital technologies. To get the solution to market quicker, the team comprising Thales software engineers, data scientists and user experience designers worked in short sprints closely with SBS Transit as the end-user which provided valuable inputs and feedback. The team today continues to explore expanded uses for the solution to cater for other needs such as in safety and security, for instance by detecting unattended items, acts of violence and illegal behaviour such as vandalism in stations or on trains. In the near future, it could even spot commuters who are not wearing masks during this pandemic. 

This solution will be put on trial at one of the stations on the North East Line in the first quarter of 2021. 

Since its inception in November 2018, the Thales Digital Factory in Singapore has made significant progress in digital transformation for the rail sector with Minimum Viable Products developed locally in close collaboration with key players in Singapore’s transportation ecosystem.

“Thales and SBS Transit share a similar ambition – to harness the power of digital in building a safe, seamless and reliable journey for Singapore’s commuters. This collaboration was a natural fit, given our Group’s continued investments in digital technologies and our strong credentials in delivering major rail projects in Singapore. Through this trusted partnership, I am excited for Thales to be co-conceptualizing with SBS Transit new innovative digital solutions that could be a game changer in the global rail industry.” Kevin Chow, Country Director & CEO, Thales in Singapore

Mr Cheng Siak Kian, SBS Transit Acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “As a rail operator, we recognise that comfort and safety are important aspects in our commuters’ travel. We are able to bring our data as well as commuters’ needs and desired experiences to co-create this solution with Thales using new digital technologies to better serve our commuters. We are excited by the prospects of being able to do this and more to benefit our commuters and bring their travel experience to the next level.”