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Railway digitalisation set to boost economic recovery

According to Huawei, the pandemic will accelerate digital transformation of the rail industry. (Image source: Huawei)

The first Africa Digital Rail Forum 2020, hosted by Southern African Railways Association (SARA), Siemens Mobility and Huawei Technologies on 19 August, focused on the topic “Accelerating Railway Digitalisation, Boosting Economic Recovery

More than 17,000 people from 300 companies and 22 countries joined the online event.

Hao Guoqiang, president of Global Transportation Development Dept in Huawei Enterprise Business Group, shared some ideas from china experience.

According to Guoqiang, the pandemic will accelerate digital transformation of the rail industry. After the pandemic, the rail industry will rapidly help economic recovery, requiring advanced and unified technology. Keeping this in mind, Huawei is addressing how railways can use new technologies to speed up digitalisation, while helping customers at the same time. The new technology like 5G, AI will be used in rail industry.

Dr Joice Chidora, finance director of SARA, introduced the “JOICE” system – “Joint, Operating, Integrated, Control, Enhanced” – and commented, “Now is the time that SARA should forge ahead to implement the JOICE system to address the challenges and opportunities brought about by COVID-19.”

Patrick, head of sales and business development in Siemens Mobility South Africa, and his team introduced the frontline in the fight against theft and vandalism in rail with the help of the digitalisation. He said, “Theft and vandalism is an increasing threat to our rail industry; causing disruptions to operators and negatively affecting commuters lives and freight operations. Using smart infrastructure, Siemens offers solutions that provide for real-time detection of acts of theft and vandalism. Our solutions leverage digitalisation and provide innovative ways of identifying these criminal acts to our clients. With this insight, customers can put in effective measures to tackle theft and vandalism.”

Fang Jun, senior transportation solution manger in Huawei Enterprise Business Group, commented, “The COVID-19 epidemic is surely a challenge but also an opportunity for railway industry. The ‘new normal’ state of the epidemic poses new requirements including agile business deployment. This further accelerates the digital transformation trend of railway industry.”