Thursday 1 December 2022

PSG innovation workshop on “Unlocking the power of data and artificial intelligence in passenger rail” held on 25 November

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On 25 November, at the UIC’s Headquarters in Paris, the third – and last – Passenger Services Group Innovation Workshop planned for 2022 took place: “Unlocking the power of data and artificial intelligence in passenger rail”.

Following a quick round of self-introductions, Luca Mariorenzi, Chair of the UIC Passenger Experts Subgroup, opened the Innovation Workshop and welcomed more than 40 participants, attending either in person or online.

Participants represented different companies of the railway industry, including SNCF, SBB, Trenitalia, FS, Renfe, Eurail, PKP, Entur, MAV, CFL, LTG, DSB, Trafikvertet and UIC.

After the presentation of the agenda, Stefano Scarci (EY) took the floor and provided an overview on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, including recent advancements that may open new opportunities in the near future.

He also described how AI and Data Science are being applied to marketing and sales, customer assistance, demand prediction, and operations, with examples from rail and similar industries.

During the workshop, experts from SBB and SNCF shared their experiences in the field of Data Science and AI.

Claire Nicodeme gave a presentation on how computer vision is being developed and applied at SNCF, while Mathieu Gagnon and Charles-Frederick Amaudruz presented the macroscopic railway simulator “Olistic”, developed by SNCF, and its applications to traffic management.

Piotr Kowol, Mayra Bermúdez and Fionn Gantenbein provided an in-depth presentation on the application of machine learning to the optimisation of rolling stock maintenance, together with an overview of other AI applications at SBB.

Participants were split into three groups for the breakout sessions, during which they were asked to brainstorm on three topics: applications enabled by AI and Data Science in rail passenger marketing and customer services; applications in rail passenger planning and operations; and possible initiatives by UIC that could help member rail companies generate value from the application and use of AI and Data Science.

During the final plenary session, the outcomes of the breakout sessions were presented.

For further information please contact Fabrice Setta, UIC Senior Advisor Passenger Transport:

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