Hitachi’s vision for the train station of the future
Stations of the future will feature robots guiding us, smart sensors instead of ticket barriers and completely electric trains.
Hitachi has unveiled how train stations of the future could transform passenger experiences by using robots and the latest digital technology. The vision includes the use of artificial intelligence to enable robots to guide passengers around the station.
This new concept follows Hitachi’s announcement that it has begun trials of smart sensor technology which could see tickets, would make ticket barriers obsolete at stations.
Hitachi Rail’s Nick Hughes, said: “Britain’s train stations could be revolutionized in the years to come as we harness the latest breakthroughs in robotic and artificial intelligence technology. Our concept of a smart station is already becoming a reality, with much of this technology already being trialed in Japan and Europe”.
Mr Hughes added: “Our vision also sees the roll out of battery powered trains to the UK, which will see rail catch-up with the recent successes achieved in the automotive sector. Battery trains can cut carbon emissions from train stations, making them cleaner environments to visit and work in.”.
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The concept station includes robots which can show passengers how to find their train and other station amenities.
Hitachi first trialed their robot technology with the public at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in 2017. The robot, called EMIEW3, had the ability to communicate in multiple languages. The robot’s “brain” used artificial intelligence whilst communicating to a central computer system to gain information about what is taking place at the airport.
Hitachi’s pioneering technology can ensure stations are fit for the future, becoming cleaner and greener spaces, whilst the UK works towards a no net emissions target by 2050.
As more people are encouraged to use rail instead of flying or driving, this new station concept is designed to support higher passenger numbers, especially those who do not use trains regularly.
Real time information will personalize each customer experience, helping them navigate ever busy stations, including data being sent directly from the train to a passenger’s phone. This could include mobile apps to guide people to certain shops, restaurants of information points, instead of using physical signs.
As well as being simpler to use, the station will be a cleaner environment to eat, shop and work in. Hitachi will introduce new battery powered trains, replacing existing diesel fleets.
Hitachi has a battery-powered train running in Japan, and believes this technology will make stations more inviting for a new wave of rail passengers.
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