InnoTrans is the leading international trade fair for transport technology and takes places every two years in Berlin. The representatives of the Control Center Applications Division of Astron Informatics Ltd. participate regularly at the event. We asked Attila Mergl Ph.D., division manager and Rátki Tamás, deputy division manager to tell us about what they saw at the event.
What were your first impressions at the fair?
Attila Mergl: It really is the biggest fair in our industry, there are people from all over the world and even a whole day isn’t enough to visit everything. Since our work focuses on railway automation and we are a strategic partner of Siemens Mobility, we were mostly interested in the railway technology and infrastructure section, and we tried to concentrate on these stands to get a better understanding of the future of the industry.
Tamás Rátki: It was good to see that many Hungarian companies were present as exhibitors with their own stand.
What where the specific innovations that caught your attention?
Tamás Rátki: There was a train driving simulator that captures the movement of the drivers’ eyeballs and analyzes how concentrated the drivers are and what they pay attention to in emergency situations and measures their reaction time. It was also interesting, that at another stand, we could drive a train through virtual reality glasses. VR was present at many exhibitors, but there is no common role for this technology.
Attila Mergl: We also saw electric buses. In Germany, there are many cities in which these busses are already in operation and it’s possible to charge them at bus stops making them more practical and effective without overhead lines.
How do you see the future based on what you experienced at Innotrans? What are the main trends?
Attila Mergl: We were able to see what the inside of trains will look like in the future according to the exhibitors, also in the virtual reality. It’s pretty clear that providing an enhanced passenger experience will be the key in the future. Some of the exhibitors visualize screens built in the windows with personalized content. Mainly everyone agrees that wifi and the possibility to charge one’s mobile also in the metro busses will be amongst the basic services in the future. We also saw some smart trains as well where passengers are provided with personalized offers: for example if someone is travelling to Amsterdam, the system will automatically offer them Amsterdam hotels. It’s also clear that mobile devices will substitute screens built in the seats.
Tamás Rátki: It is also a clear tendency that preventive train maintenance and constant supervision will be even more important in the future. Data provided by the control systems could be perfect for better timing the maintenance work in order to more effectively prevent any malfunctions.