SBS Transit Commits to Four Collaborative Partnerships to Enhance Passenger Travel Experience

Imagine the future of travel where passengers travel comfortably as train schedules are automatically adjusted based on crowd levels, passengers find their way virtually around stations using a mobile app, and where experts remotely view a fault from anywhere in the world through a pair of smart spectacles worn by staff to offer guidance for a quicker service recovery. This is the future of travel that SBS Transit is working towards - a smooth, reliable, comfortable and efficient travel experience for our passengers.   

To signify its commitment to these projects, SBS Transit will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with four companies - CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co., Ltd, HUAWEI International Pte. Ltd, Siemens Mobility, and VIZZIO Technologies - to collaborate in making the projects a reality. The MOUs will be signed during the Singapore International Transport Congress & Exhibition (SITCE) that is taking place from 2 to 4 November 2022 at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Hall. The partnerships will leverage the companies’ various expertise to develop progressive systems for enhanced customer experience, real-time condition monitoring, faster fault rectification, as well as sustainable maintenance of train components.   

SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cheng Siak Kian, said: “We are committed to not only providing safe, reliable and pleasant journeys but also in elevating the travel experience of our passengers. This is why we are constantly exploring ways to do this as our goal is to encourage the use of public transport to be environmentally-friendly and be sustainable for our future.  We are excited to embark on these new partnerships and look forward to being able to make every journey a delight for our passengers.”

Optimising train deployment through Artificial Intelligence  
The collaboration with Siemens Mobility will use an Artificial Intelligence-based solution to analyse crowd levels on trains and at stations, as well as the passengers’ average waiting times at the train platforms, to automatically adjust train schedules to cater to passenger demand. This will enable trains to be deployed more efficiently and effectively on the Downtown Line. Notably, this solution will be the first of its kind to be implemented in the Asia Pacific.  

Known as the “Controlguide® Airo”, the Siemens Mobility’s software will also enable better contingency planning and incident management, as it can simulate potential scenarios to predetermine train schedules. For instance, station(s) expecting high passenger volume due to a sporting event or a concert.  

Building smart stations for enhanced passenger experience and operational efficiency
Augmented Reality and 3D mapping technology will be used by VIZZIO Technologies to create virtual stations to help passengers find their way more easily. Instead of struggling to locate maps or floorplans to navigate the stations, passengers can easily pull up a virtual station on their handphones and with it, visual directional guides will pop out to instantly guide the way. Passengers can also familiarise themselves with the station in the comfort of their own home when planning their journeys, saving time and avoiding anxious moments. 

VIZZIO will also use Advanced Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors and live cameras to build a digital live view of a station where station staff can conduct 3D virtual patrols. Staff will be able to quickly identify areas of concern such as unattended baggage, unmasked passengers or even unlocked doors. This complements the physical patrols, enhances safety and security of our stations and improves productivity and efficiency.  

Tapping on smart glasses for remote assistance and training 
HUAWEI’s collaboration involves the use of smart glasses where experts from anywhere in the world can remotely view the technical fault through the “eyes” of our engineers to accurately diagnose the problem and support with solutions. A successful outcome of the project will enable us to resolve faults expediently and get train services up and running more quickly in the event of a service disruption.   

The smart glasses will also be used for training purposes, enabling ground staff to effectively consult experienced colleagues while training on the job. 

Green practices in railway maintenance 
CRRC Nanjing Puzhen’s project adopts a data-driven approach that enables targeted maintenance of the trains or replacement of component parts to be based on an actual need. This involves installing real-time condition monitoring systems in the trains on the North East Line (NEL) which generates data that pin points irregularities in critical train components such as the braking system. As a result, faulty components can be detected before they result in serious system failures and subsequently unplanned downtime of the train. Compared to the current cyclical method, it optimises productivity and ensures a more sustainable use of resources.  

Ensuring reliability of NEL’s signalling network 
Besides collaborating to develop proof-of-concept solutions with these four partners, SBS Transit will also be inking an agreement with France’s Alstom to provide long-term services support for the signalling system that it installed for the North East Line in 2003.  Spanning 10 years, it includes the repairs of faulty signalling components and replacements of obsolete component parts. This will ensure that the NEL continues to operate reliably and smoothly.