Next week, Cisco and other industry leaders will flock to Berlin for the biennial transportation event InnoTrans 2016. The international trade fair for transport technology, highlights railway technology, railway infrastructure, public transport, interiors and tunnel construction as well as a new bus display area for transit vehicle manufacturers. InnoTrans will welcome nearly 135,000 attendees to discuss and showcase what’s influencing this evolving industry.

During InnoTrans, Cisco will showcase end-to-end solutions that are being utilized across the rail and transportation industry. Here’s a first look at what Cisco will demonstrate.

Cisco Connected Rail Solution:

Cisco Connected Rail lets rail operators converge multiple aging, proprietary networks onto a single, secure IP network that supports a variety of rail services.  With one connected IP network, railways can improve safety, mobility and efficiency while enhancing the passenger experience and increasing ridership.

The Cisco Connected Rail solution includes ruggedized routers, switches, wireless LAN access points and IP video surveillance cameras along with third party applications that can be deployed on-board trains, in stations, and trackside. One third party application that Cisco will display at InnoTrans is Cubic Corporation’s smart fare payment solutions.

Efficient data management and analytics further help rail operators increase rail capacity and proactively maintain rolling stock to reduce costs and complexity while keeping trains running smoothly and on time. Intelligent video surveillance increases the safety and security of both passengers and employees onboard trains, in stations and at the trackside.

  • Cisco Connected Train: Onboard high-speed, wired and wireless IP network that support voice, video and data for passenger services like Wi-Fi, entertainment and live scheduling applications.
  • Cisco Connected Trackside: Replaces multiple, older proprietary railway networks with a Cisco Unified MPLS Mobile Transport (UMMT) network.
  • Connected Station: Integrates multiple in-station networks and retail communication systems with into a standards-based IP network.

Cisco Validated Designs for Connected Rail are based on proven, well-established technologies and architectures that help minimize deployment risk and let railways take advantage of commercially available products and services. This lowers costs and protects their existing investments while improving performance, all with the network security they’ve come to trust.

Cisco Travels the Road to Innovation
When I think about Cisco’s vision to transform the transportation industry, I’m reminded of a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

At Cisco, we strive to blaze our own trail rather than follow what’s already been paved ahead of us, and this holds true particularly in our focus on reimagining the passenger experience on trains.

For many rail passengers, regardless of where they commute, riding trains can be a disjointed process.  A major challenge for rail commuters is seamlessly traveling from point A to point B since transit systems don’t often communicate with each other.

For some of these commuters, the system they use to purchase their train ticket is not connected with the transit system. Some then use ride sharing services like Uber after arriving at a train station, since for most riders, the train station is not their final destination.

That’s why Cisco is proud to announce a new collaboration with Fluidmesh, which combines our Connected Rail solution with their train-to-ground wireless technology to help deliver more reliable Wi-Fi to trains. Working together allows us to help make the train riding experience more fun and more productive for passengers so they can stay connected online during their journeys.

In addition to our new collaboration with Fluidmesh, Cisco has already been working to tackle these very same challenges through a new type of fiber technology called SWIFT (Superfast WiFi In-carriage for Future Travel), that is being developed as a proof of concept by our collaborative research team: Cisco CREATE.

But at the end of the day, riding trains should be a simple and enjoyable experience. Technology gets us one step further to achieving that so we can continue leading the way.

To learn more about Cisco Connected Transportation and our Connected Rail solution, visit us at www.cisco.com/go/transportation.

To learn about how cybersecurity is changing the transportation industry, check out this whitepaper from Cisco “Transportation: Improving Cybersecurity to Protect Emerging Systems”.

You can also take a look at several videos on the Cisco Connected Transportation YouTube channel.


Barry Einsig

Global Transportation Executive, Internet of Everything

Vertical Solutions Group