From 26 to 28 May, UIC once again took part in the International Transport Forum in Leipzig, Germany.
This international event, bringing together participants from governments, businesses, international organisations and academia, is always on the UIC agenda as “the place to be” to discuss at world level the issue of transport policy. Over the course of three days, ministers in charge of transport from the 59 member countries of the International Transport Forum underlined the critical importance of keeping transport safe, secure and resilient in order to enable societies and economies to prosper. The theme of this edition was “Safety and Security in Transport”.
UIC, representing the railway voice at world level, was pleased to be involved in several discussions relating to this theme.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, participated in a Ministerial Round Table entitled: “Dependency of transport on digital devices”. He said:
The first thing to note is that rail appears as a key factor in this 21st century. Rail is essential but in itself only, not in competition with other modes but as the backbone of a new mobility chain.
Rail has been used from its origin to survive to various revolutions: the industrial revolution at the very beginning. The energy revolution in the seventies. The information technology revolution in the 80s - 90s.
Today, we are now facing the so called 4th Revolution: the Digital revolution.
This revolution is generating very strong impacts on all the decision-making processes, all production and maintenance processes and obviously on the whole information chain itself.
Rail needs to take advantage of this technical revolution in order to rapidly and efficiently improve productivity, security and the services all this thanks to connectivity
One of the key words is “rapidity” since we are currently facing very strong demands from the markets.
It can be either intra-urban markets, inter-urban, inter-regional or even inter-continental markets if we consider the emergence of large inter-continental corridors.
Nowadays decision-making cycles are faster and faster. This can be seen as an contradiction with operating modes of rail since its investments are really important considering the size of its deployment.
Rail projects require a lot of time and to find an investment that allow a fair ROI.
This development obviously demands new competencies directly linked to the area of information. But these have to remain fully compliant with rail technologies.
We must admit that, today, whatever the economic context might be, rail sector is running out of resources that would allow the development and the implementation of these new emerging technologies.
Considering this statement, we definitely need to adopt new modes of cooperation.
Intermodal partnerships have to be enhanced in order to mutualise potential impacts on our interfaces, on our shared customers.
This can be achieved through incubators that would allow to work in a different way: focus on research and anticipation with the development of Proof of Concepts, demonstrators… Innovative funding modes have to be considered as well. New partnerships have to be developed with universities since it is within the universities that we need to train in transport, in the mobility chain, the talents that will express tomorrow the needs of the market. They are the ones who will be able to answer these demands with the emergence of new expertise.
That is the reason why UIC works in close partnership with major actors such as UITP, UNFC or IATA. Such cooperation enables a better design of our interfaces and the providing of seamless information to our customers, whether Freight or Passenger. We have now opened this 19th century pyramid focused on closed working modes leading to new circuits open to the outside world.
For the last three years, UIC has new initiatives to support digital development in rail.
This has been done via the setting-up of a Digital Platform. It has led to the design and development of demonstrators, via the organization of thematic seminars and workshops focusing on the most important digital trends such as IoT and Big Data, cyber-security, blockchain and in September, a major workshop dedicated to AI will be held in Shanghai in cooperation with Chinese Railways.
This has been done also via the organisation of digital tours and exchanges with major worldwide digital areas such as Silicon Valley last year and China in 2018.
These visits have allowed UIC to actively participate this year in Las Vegas CES and CESG, giving a unique opportunity to rail to be present in such outstanding events.
One of the impacts of these visits is also to have been able to meet and to create synergies with new partners. That is the reason of our participation in this friendly exchange this morning and we are most happy to facilitate the establishment of potential links with them.
His interview on the UIC input concerning Safety & Security in available here: youtu.be/gyy2YeUPFr8
UIC was also involved in this major event through a dedicated workshop co-organised together and for the first time with ITF, UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe on Rail Security and the UIC Security Unit (see next article for more details on this workshop).
More than 50 exhibitors from around the world showcased the latest initiatives and technological developments. They represent governments, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, NGOs and business associations. UIC was very pleased to have this opportunity to promote its projects and activities in this way, to network with other stakeholders and to discuss subjects such as Women Security in Transport or Decarbonisation, among others.
“Safety and security are of fundamental concern for transport, both as the basis of a citizen’s right to travel without fear, and as a condition for the reliable and efficient transport of goods”, Ministers stated in a joint declaration agreed unanimously on 24 May. Specifically, Ministers pledged to join forces against both unintended and malicious disruptions to transport systems that cause death and injury. They committed to cooperation among public and private entities to combat human trafficking and terrorism involving transport services and infrastructure. In order to reduce crime involving transport networks, Ministers planned with others to foster cross-border cooperation between relevant agencies.
Ministers also emphasised the potential of digitalisation for making transport safer and more secure, but call on stakeholders to test, demonstrate and evaluate the effects of these new technologies. They also agreed to promote measures for real-time exchange and use of robust data to enhance safe and secure transport, while ensuring cyber security and data protection.
In their Declaration, Ministers took particular note of the need to further improve road safety. Noting that every day, 3500 lives are lost in crashes on the world’s roads, they called for “an integrated approach to reduce or eliminate road traffic fatalities and serious injuries backed by intermediate voluntary targets”.
Full text of the Declaration in English: https://www.itf-oecd.org/2018-ministerial-declaration-transport-safety-security
The 2019 Summit will discuss “Transport Connectivity for Regional Integration” and will be held from 22 – 24 May in Leipzig.