Report of Futro supplier launch event


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Report of Futro supplier launch event

  1. 1. Report on FuTRO supplier launch event1st May 2013
  2. 2. Table of ContentsReport on FuTRO supplier launch event – 1st May 2013 ...............1FuTRO supplier launch event ................................................................ 1Executive summary..................................................................................................1What is FuTRO? ......................................................................................................2What was the FuTRO launch event? .......................................................................2Plenary presentations ........................................................................4Strategic context for FuTRO ....................................................................................5Vision of FuTRO.......................................................................................................5FuTRO in the longer term ........................................................................................6Question and answer panel .....................................................................................7Open innovation breakouts ...............................................................8Open innovation approach .......................................................................................9Challenge 1 - Meeting customer needs ..........................................10Challenge 2 - Optimising system performance .............................13Challenge 3 - Human and automatic control .................................16Challenge 4 - Dealing with data ......................................................18Conclusion - The day in a picture ...................................................22Appendix 1 - Background reading ..................................................24Appendix 2 - Verbatim breakout cards ...........................................25
  3. 3. RSSB 1Report on FuTRO supplier launch event – 1stMay 2013FuTRO supplier launch eventExecutive summary On the 1stMay 2013, the FuTRO vision of the future of trafficregulation on the railway was launched by the RSSB at the BritishLibrary in London. Over 100 delegates from the supply industrycame to hear about FuTRO and to take part together in a seriesof 30-minute workshops. The aim was to begin the process ofengaging a wider population with the often radical innovation thatFuTRO will demand, and to ask where, beyond its traditionalboundaries, the industry might look for such innovation andtechnology development.Delegates heard three keynote addresses (summarised here),and then considered a series of questions designed to open upthe innovation space. The questions and a selection of the mostsignificant responses they generated are outlined in the secondhalf of this report, which captures some strong alignment arounda number of themes.The event was also amplified live over the web and other socialmedia, creating a web-based record that can be found Presentations, videos, tweets, andother material from the event are all available on the site.
  4. 4. FuTRO supplier launch event2 RSSBWhat is FuTRO? Understanding and managing the placement and movement oftrains is fundamental to the operation of a safe and efficientrailway. The industry calls this process ‘regulation’. FuTRO:Future Traffic Regulation Optimisation, is an ambitiousprogramme of exploration and innovation, that is part of the UK’sRail Technical Strategy 2012 (the RTS). FuTRO is concernedwith how the regulation of trains on the railway must change,adapt and improve, starting today, and up to 30 years into thefuture.At the launch of the RTS in December 2012, Steve Yianni, Chairof the Technical Strategy Leadership Group (TSLG), describedFuTRO as the ‘single most important initiative’ related to enablingthe future railway. It impacts all of the so-called ‘4Cs’, significantlyreducing Carbon and Cost, whilst simultaneously raising Capacityand Customer satisfaction.The scope of FuTRO is therefore very wide, and includes many ofthe different aspects and systems involved in creating anddelivering a positive end-to-end experience on the network.The innovation to deliver this vision is expected to come from anequally wide range of sources, including the physical andbiological sciences, all types of engineering, system design, andthe human/social sciences. Inspiration from outside the traditionalrail supply industry is seen as key to FuTRO’s success. Insightsand technology from related and unrelated fields are thereforebeing actively sought.What was the FuTROlaunch event?On 1st May 2013, a major industry event was held at the BritishLibrary in London. Delegates were invited mainly from the supplyindustry and academia, but there were also representatives frominside the rail industry. The result was a vibrant mix of attendeesthat included representatives from the Train OperatingCompanies (TOCs), Network Rail (NR), suppliers of products andservices to the industry, research and development organisationsand academia. The specialisms represented includedoptimisation, train control, algorithm development, centralisednetwork control and intelligent automated traffic managementsystems.With a mixture of presentations from senior rail industry peopleand interactive workshops, the day explored the aims of theFuTRO programme, its challenges, the industry context, issues
  5. 5. RSSB 3surrounding the migration path over thirty years, and futurefunding opportunities.The event began with a plenary overview of FuTRO for thoseunfamiliar with its aims and ambitions. Presentations from seniorrail industry managers helped to set the scene, and to raiseexpectations. Delegates then had the opportunity to get involvedin the discussions through a series of four workshop sessions –each exploring a different aspect of the rapidly emerging FuTROprogramme of innovation for the next 30 years. The eventconcluded with a networking lunch, with many attendees stayingwell into the afternoon to continue the discussions they hadstarted earlier in the day.
  6. 6. FuTRO supplier launch event4 RSSBPlenary presentationsThe day began with a set of plenary presentations, a full videorecord of which is available on talks began with an introduction from James Hardy, Head ofStrategy Support at RSSB, who welcomed attendees, outlinedthe agenda for the day, and then offered a brief introduction to‘open innovation’, an important theme for the event.Whilst there are many ways to interpret what ‘open innovation’means to different people and groups, James confirmed that forour purposes, we take the idea to mean simply: ‘Innovating withpartners, sharing both risk and reward’.As a further subtext, there is an implication and anencouragement to cast the innovation net wider than mightotherwise be the case, to include partners who might operate inrelated fields, or indeed in apparently unrelated fields. Experiencehas shown many positive examples of inspiration and innovationoriginating from initially unlikely combinations of expertise.James explained to delegates that the open innovation parts ofthe events’ agenda were to be facilitated by innovationconsultants, 100%Open (, that the day’sproceedings (including slides) would be captured and broadcastto the web by social media experts, Amplified( and Twitter #futroUK), and that aresident artist would capture the spirit of the day in a mural. Hethen introduced the first of the three plenary speakers who wouldset the scene for the event.
  7. 7. RSSB 5Strategic context forFuTROSteve Yianni, Chair of Technical StrategyLeadership Group (TSLG)Steve positioned FuTRO in its strategic context as part of the RailTechnical Strategy 2012 (RTS). He reminded delegates of whathe had said at the launch of the RTS, that he considered FuTROto be the most important part of RTS, and confirmed that he stillbelieves that to be true.Steve then showed delegates two short videos: Introducing theRail Technical Strategy 2012 ( and Bringing the Rail Industry Vision toLife ( He made thepoint that it is important to understand FuTRO and the RTS asbeing about the big picture; the whole system.Steve finished by introducing the Rail Technical StrategyLeadership Group (TSLG), and outlining its aims and programme.He reminded delegates that it’s about the next 30 years, longerthan the current franchise lengths. He emphasised the hugefinancial opportunities in both cost savings and potential revenueincreases, that could be unlocked by the doubling in capacity thatFuTRO offers.He then handed over to Ed Rollings.Vision of FuTRO Ed Rollings, Head of Signals and Telecoms,Network RailEd began by emphasising very clearly to delegates what FuTROis not. ‘It’s not today’s railway, and it’s not today’s technology’.Instead, it’s an ambitious vision of an integrated system to fit moretrains onto the network by managing traffic optimally – meaningboth efficiently and safely. It’s also about sustainability(‘environmentally positive’) and about delivering a flexible,scalable capability.Today’s technology is, in Ed’s words, a ‘jumping off point’ for thefuture. Tomorrow’s technology will be about end-to-end journeymanagement, including integration with other modes of transport,and will take in not only normal operations, but conditionmonitoring and perturbation management. It’s about a‘personalised journey experience’.
  8. 8. FuTRO supplier launch event6 RSSBIn Ed’s view, FuTRO’s challenges will include gathering data ontrains and infrastructure, the creation of real-time optimisationalgorithms, decision dissemination, designing for resilience, andachieving the right balance between human influence andautomation.Ed made a strong point that we are in a position to influenceEuropean work on traffic management, by acting quickly. He thenintroduced the final key note speaker of the morning, CliveBurrows.FuTRO in the longertermClive Burrows, FirstGroupClive dug deeper into what FuTRO represents by working througha detailed use-case, beginning with today’s Standalone DriverAdvisory System (DAS) that provides optimum speedrecommendations to optimise energy and efficiency, but notcapacity, and showing how it could migrate towards a fullyautomatic system. He explained how Standalone DAS could bedeveloped to provide a Connected DAS capable of updating trainspeeds in real time, and considering what he called an algorithmicapproach to train control and management. A critical issue, hesuggested, is to exchange waypoint data and target times – thisis the core part of any Rail Traffic Management System (RTMS)he argued.Clive gave a further example of optimisation, explaining that thenumber of trains that can run on a line is limited by theelectrification capacity. However, by simply co-ordinating trainmovement to avoid the unlikely and unnecessary scenario of alltrains accelerating maximally at the same time, more trains canbe run on the same line without increasing electrical capacity.Safety critical migration will also be needed according to Clive.Trains will need to determine where they are and this will need tobe reflected in the fixed infrastructure. ERTMS Level 3 is all abouttrains determining their own positions. He sees a time in the futurewhen an automated system will give movement permissions, andtraffic management will be used to optimise gaps between trains.Then, he made the point that we currently have ‘huge gaps’between trains because they don’t get information from the trainin front. However, if trains shared information, the distance
  9. 9. RSSB 7between trains could be dramatically reduced, to the point wherethey are almost running together.Finally, Clive also suggested that there are things we can learn bytransferring technologies from other areas. He mentionedlearning from metro-type railways as an example. He summarisedby explaining that he is looking for ‘stepping stones into thefuture’.Question and answerpanelSteve Yianni, Ed Rollings, Clive BurrowsThe plenary phase of the programme concluded with a shortpanel session in which members of the audience were invited toask questions of the earlier speakers.The first question was about whether rail customers (passengersand freight) are represented on the TSLG. Steve Yianni confirmedthat there is representation from Passenger Focus, theindependent body who protect the interest of rail passengers.A further question asked where the financial benefits of FuTROwill be found. Steve confirmed that there is a clear business caseinvolving the financial benefits for the changes he talked about inhis presentation. He also said that FuTRO can help to implementthese efficiency changes and maintain high levels of safety. EdRollings reminded the audience that a capacity increase candeliver financial benefits, and that while there will be cost savingsthere will also certainly be revenue generating opportunities.Subsequent questions focussed on the relationship between theoptimisation of the rail system and the commercial arrangements,both between rail companies and with other modes of transport.The panel agreed that a lot more ‘joined-up thinking’ was needed– a perfect lead into the next part of the agenda.
  10. 10. FuTRO supplier launch event8 RSSBOpen innovation breakoutsHaving completed the plenary sessions, delegates were invited toattend any two of four parallel breakout sessions. Each 30-minutesession was tasked with addressing a different challenge, eachchallenge having three related sub-questions.Attendees at each breakout were split at random into threegroups of about eight people; each group was tasked withanswering a single sub-question from that breakout’s particularchallenge. Delegates had to work together, producing their outputon cards that were later displayed on large posters for allattendees to see over lunch, and whose main messages aresummarised here.To try to address any of these challenges properly in just 30minutes is clearly an impossibility. Instead, the intent was to allowdelegates to begin the process of engaging with FuTRO, toexplore the kinds of questions it will ask and answer, and toexperience for themselves how working together with others,even for a short period, lends a new and different dimension to theprocess.
  11. 11. RSSB 9Open innovationapproachBreakouts were facilitated by members of the consultancy100%Open, and were designed to offer delegates a brief taste ofthe open innovation approach that is viewed by RSSB and othersas vital to the on-going success of FuTRO.In this context, ‘open innovation’ means ‘working with partners toshare risk and reward’. It often involves interactions betweenparties who might not have previously worked together or evenconsidered themselves as likely partners, and it consciouslyintroduces new and occasionally even naive thinking as acomplement to received wisdom and experience.The thoughts, insights and questions that were generated by thisprocess have been synthesised and summarised at a high-levelin the final sections of this report. The intent is to give readers aflavour of the nature of the informal discussions that delegatesheld in response to the challenges we issued. Readers interestedin the full output of the breakout sessions can find a verbatimtranscript of all of the cards produced by delegates in Appendix 2of this report.For each challenge, we describe the sub-questions, summarisewhat the delegates discussed and wrote down, and show anexample card. Although everything that was said is valued, notevery comment is included in these summaries. Instead, amaximum of three or four observations and comments from thebreakout sessions have been selected. Comments have beenchosen based on a number of criteria, including: Whether they were expressed more than once by differentrespondents (areas of agreement) Whether they stand in contrast to the general consensus(areas of disagreement) Whether groups included them in their verbal summaries atthe end of each breakout session The extent to which we can be confident about what wasbeing said by delegates (we do not want to put words intotheir mouths based on sometimes unclear written notes onthe cards) The extent to which (in our opinion) individual comments arelikely to generate future insight and interest in engaging withthe Open Innovation aspects of FuTRO.
  12. 12. FuTRO supplier launch event10 RSSBFinally in each section, we share any additional comments on thechallenge based on wider thinking (reading and interviews) from100%Open. In this way, we hope that the conversations whichbegan in these breakout sessions will represent not the canonicalfinal opinion of the group, but rather a fertile beginning of theOpen innovation programme on which the success of FuTROdepends.Challenge 1 - Meeting customer needsThis challenge was created to allow participants to explore thedynamic two-way communication that will need to happenbetween the railway industry and its customers (includingpassengers and freight) over the coming decades. It wascomposed of three inter-related questions, seeking answers fromdifferent and overlapping angles.The questions How will we understand the needs of passengers and freightcustomers over the next 15-40 years?In other words, if we’re attempting to understand how to designnew railway systems over that extended period, what tools andapproaches can we use today, to understand the set ofpotentially nebulous and significantly changeable humanbehaviours and desires over that extended period?How will customers know what the railway is offering them,both in advance and in real time?While the previous question relates to how the railway might goabout understanding its customers’ needs, this question relates tothe reverse: how customers might understand what the railway isoffering. Importantly, this means not just in real time, for example,‘When’s the next train to London?’, but also over time, forexample, ‘How good, these days, is the service from where I planto live to where I need to work?’.How will the system design contribute to reducing passengerstress and improving satisfaction?This question recognises that customer satisfaction is not justabout performance metrics: what the railway actually does, butalso about emotional issues: how the railway does it. It asks howcustomers could be made happiest, or least stressed, at anygiven level of absolute performance?
  13. 13. RSSB 11Delegates’ answers A common observation across all three questions in thischallenge was that any solution should be multi-modal. By this,delegates meant that it should incorporate all transport modes(bus, taxi, car, bike, walking, and so on), rather than treating railas an island. In a similar vein, it was also observed that anyattempt to understand customers’ needs should also take non-passengers (what one delegate called ‘not yet passengers’) intoaccount.The idea of a ‘Human SatNav’ or ‘Rail Angel’ was mentionedseveral times across the sessions as a way to capture this multi-modal aspect of future interaction with passengers. Severaldelegates envisioned what it might be like to interact with this ‘allknowing brain’ through multiple different channels. This notionalso embodies another recurring theme, that of interactionsbetween the industry and customers being personal andpersonalised to each customer. At its most extreme, delegatesimagined a ‘pitch for the customer now’ model, in whichcompeting suppliers (of coffee as well as trains), might be able tobid for customers’ immediate needs.At least one group recognised the inherently linked and circularnature of interactions between railway and customer, pointing outthat as the railway becomes more consumer-centric, so customerexpectations will themselves change. Another group recognised
  14. 14. FuTRO supplier launch event12 RSSBthat people are changing independently of the railway, includingin ways related to their mobility and the space requirements theymay have whilst on board.Another group observed that passenger communications couldalso be used as a form of traffic management, by making sure thatpassengers were directed in ways that responded to real-timecapacity.Finally, a neat idea captured a way of re-inventing the relationshipbetween railway and passenger: ‘Buy the journey, not the ticket’,recognises that for a passenger, it is the journey that matters.Passengers should be guaranteed an arrival at their intendeddestination. The ticket, a railway-centric view of the world, ismerely a means to an end.Comment In only 30 minutes, delegates captured some of the mostimportant notions that this topic contains, and communicatedthem compellingly. There are existing examples in otherindustries of some of the characteristics identified by the groupsas desirable for rail: ‘personalisation’ being familiar from the beste-commerce sites and ‘multimodal transport planning’ alreadybeing offered at least by Google.Delegates did tend to focus on trying to answer the questionsthemselves, rather than thinking more broadly about who (outsidethe room) might have a better answer. The question ‘How will weunderstand customer needs?’, had delegates focussing on whatthose needs might actually be, as opposed to the question ofwhere the tools and insights to gain such insights might comefrom in a true open innovation context. Understanding humanneeds, even long into the future, is a developed process in otherfields (such as marketing, retail and town-planning among many)into which we could tap.One way to analyse customer needs and communications couldbe to divide them into three epochs: minutes and seconds - key questions related to real-timeneeds, for example where a passenger needs to get totoday, and where the train which should have arrived onplatform 3 has got to days and weeks, - questions relate to longer-term but none-the-less concrete needs
  15. 15. RSSB 13 months and years - interactions relate more to perceptionsabout performance and overall customer expectations. Thissort of analysis is also familiar from many industries.The question of passenger stress is a key one. It relates stronglyto the notion of ‘experience design’, a practice that is very wellunderstood in other industries including retail, hospitality (hotelsand restaurants), and entertainment (shows, museums andtheme parks). Even in healthcare, the best hospitals are comingto regard themselves as offering a human experience in additionto medical healthcare. There are many opportunities to learn fromthese fields, if we are able to gain access to them.Challenge 2 - Optimising system performanceThis challenge lies at the heart of FuTRO, and asks how, even ifeverything else is in place, will we optimise the performance of thenetwork? In this context, ‘how’ means both ‘in what ways’ and ‘bywhat mechanism’.The questions What are the criteria of system performance that will beimportant?This question acknowledges the implicit assumption that we allknow what we’re talking about, and asks ‘are we sure?’How will we develop tools, algorithms, cost functions,timetables, and so on?This is another ‘how’ question, asking not just what thealgorithms, cost functions, and other things might actually be, butalso how they will come to be.What are the technical and commercial constraints onperformance? What are the alternatives?This question suggests that there might be things in the existingsystem, possibly hard to change, that will restrict our ambition,and asks: ‘what are they?’.Delegates’ answers Again, there was a strong sense of wanting to deal with a multi-modal system, not just rail. There was recognition that forpractical purposes, the performance of the rail system in isolationis not as important as customers’ experience of the performanceof the system, which necessarily includes the surrounding modes
  16. 16. FuTRO supplier launch event14 RSSBof transport. This came out strongly in a couple of places, withdelegates asking the rhetorical question ‘where are theboundaries of the system?’Everyone recognised and acknowledged that in this context,optimisation is inherently about trade-offs. However, the expectedtrade-offs, for example between carbon and convenience, arehard. More importantly, delegates repeatedly asked thequestions, ‘who will make these trade-off decisions?’, and to alesser extent, ‘over what timeframe will they be made?’ In thecontext of trade-offs, one group or individual asserted verystrongly (whether rightly or wrongly) that ‘if you maximisecapacity, you compromise safety.’In the context of what is important, there was generalacknowledgement that the metrics of speed and punctuality, orpredictability, are distinct and different. The possibility was raisedthat punctuality might be a more important metric for customersthan speed, and that it might be preferred in a trade-off betweenthe two.When thinking about developing tools, algorithms, and otherintellectual machinery for optimising the performance of thenetwork, there was a recognition that collaborative approachesand business models, for example with other transport modes,would be important. There was also acknowledgement thatinvolvement and input from outside the industry would be helpful.
  17. 17. RSSB 15Regarding the ultimate constraints on performance, most groupsfocussed on the business structures, models and culture that arein place today, and identified factors such as the lack of incentiveto share information, and the short tenure of some contracts, aslimits on optimisation. One group characterised the currentbusiness structures as adversarial, and suggested that acollaborative approach was needed instead. Another groupsuggested that fragmentation should be turned into customerchoice with technology, although it is not clear what was meant inmore detail.The only clear technical restriction that was raised related togauge: the restriction on the size of trains that is inherent in thefixed infrastructure of tracks, bridges and platforms. Mention wasalso made of the challenge and tension between a radical vision,versus the step-by-step process that is needed to roll it out.Comment Of the three questions in this challenge, it was the one onconstraints and limits to performance that attracted the strongestresponse. Given the political, organisational and business issuesthat were identified, it would be useful to think both about howthese issues could be worked around, or even taken advantageof, as well as how and in what ways they might be changed overtime.There was relatively little weight given by delegates to thepossible involvement of customers in determining the keyperformance criteria, and some further wider engagement withpassenger and freight customers could potentially yield someuseful input in this area.In general, optimisation is a widely-practiced process, withexpertise being available in related industries, for examplelogistics and shipping, as well as in apparently unrelatedindustries such as manufacturing. It is even possible thatinspiration might be drawn from much more widely distinctdomains, including biology and economics where, in both cases,highly efficient and optimised systems sometimes emerge withouteither central control or design. There is a lot of scope for openinnovation in sharing practises in this area.
  18. 18. FuTRO supplier launch event16 RSSBChallenge 3 - Human and automatic controlThe exponential growth in the power of digital technology is afamiliar facet of today’s world. This ever-advancing technologyinvites the possibility of ever-increasing automation. But is it agiven that everything that could be automated should beautomated? This challenge asked delegates to consider thatissue, by responding to three related and overlapping questions.The questions Which things should be controlled automatically, which byhumans, and which in combination?This question starts with the presumption that perhaps noteverything should be automatic, and then asks ‘if that is the case,who should do what?’ Delegates were invited to considerobjectively which things computers are good at, and in what areashumans still hold the edge. They also considered subjectivelywhich things might feel right for computers to handle and whichare more comfortable left to humans.How can technology be used to support human decision-making?This question starts with the presumption that one possibledivision of labour is to leave humans to make the decisions, withtechnology providing the support. It asks, ‘what support couldtechnology offer?’.What tools and interfaces will be needed between humansand technology?Once again, if humans and technology are to collaborate, how willthey communicate?Delegates’ answers There was widespread consensus that a clear distinction betweenautomatic and manual control relates to the frequency andrepetitiveness of the task at hand. Computers, it was suggested,are good at repetitive, predictable, planned things. Humans, onthe other hand, are best when events are rare, unpredictable orcompletely unplanned. One delegate suggested that keepinghumans in the loop would be a vital way to deal with the ‘onceevery ten years’ occurrences that, counter-intuitively perhaps,seem all too common. In a related observation, one group foundthat humans are better at making trade-offs and other softdecisions.
  19. 19. RSSB 17Another dimension contrasted customer experience, felt to bebetter left to humans, against operations, felt to be more suitablefor automation. People, it was suggested, like to have humancontact, and like to believe that humans are in control, especiallyin a crisis.When it comes to technology supporting human decision making,there was a sense that computers should provide a range ofoptions from amongst which a human might make a choice. Morethan one group identified the challenge associated withintegrating (over time) different decision support systems.In considering the ways humans and technology might interact,delegates made use of analogies including the growth in remotelypiloted drone aircraft. They identified that remote control of trainsfor example, offers a third-way between fully manual and fullyautomatic operation. They also recognised that humans have atleast five senses, all of which can be used to communicateinformation of appropriate sorts between technology and humans.Finally, it was observed that the change to ever-more automatedsystems should itself be managed as a journey, allowing allinvolved to become familiar and comfortable at each stage ofprogress, before the next is attempted.
  20. 20. FuTRO supplier launch event18 RSSBComment A significant proportion of the entire history of computing relatesto how humans can make use of computers to amplify theirbrains, from the very earliest code-breaking computers duringWWII to the artificial intelligence systems of the present day.Questions about where the relative strengths of humans andtechnology lie have been considered for many years. Althoughtechnology advances continually and rapidly, humans changeonly slowly, allowing relatively long-lived principles to emerge.There is therefore a rich and diverse set of disciplines outside therail industry, including decision-support systems, computer-supported co-operative working, the social sciences and others,that could inform this area as part of an open innovationapproach. Users of such technology are equally as diverse,including everyone who has ever used a spreadsheet, everycommercial or military aircraft pilot, military planners, economists,and many others. Indeed, it has been observed in the aviationindustry for example, that for many years, things that areinherently dangerous such as landing in fog, have been routinelyleft to technology.The existence of this expertise makes the area of automation akey domain that the rail industry could avoid duplicating. Insteadthe industry could seek ways to benefit from and ultimately tocontribute to the significant investment in expertise made in theseother sectors.Challenge 4 - Dealing with dataThis final challenge deals with perhaps the most fundamentalstarting place for FuTRO’s ambition, that of knowing what’s goingon. It is frequently observed that ‘you can’t manage what you can’tmeasure’; the questions in this challenge sought to explore andinform some details of what it might take to measure the manythings, knowledge of which will be valuable or essential toFuTRO’s vision.The questions How is data to be sensed, collected, communicated,processed, stored and displayed?This question seeks to inform the basic challenges as described.It presumes the future vision of a widespread, pervasive sensingnetwork, together with means to communicate and make sense ofall the data so collected, and asks simply, ‘How?’
  21. 21. RSSB 19How are the vulnerabilities and threats to integrity andsecurity to be addressed?This question raises two of the most common concerns relating toany sort of distributed system. It invites comment both on what thevulnerabilities and threats might be, and how the designers andoperators of the future railway might respond to such concerns.What standards are relevant and how are they to bemanaged?If we are imagining a future state in which the open exchange ofinformation plays a key part, and the presumption is that we are,then we must consider the role of standardisation in how data isexchanged, stored, and so on.Delegates’ answers In considering how data might be collected and processed,delegates recognised a number of important issues. Theseincluded that the overall picture is likely to be composed of datacoming from disparate sources, meaning that a premium shouldbe placed on cross-industry collaboration. Equally, such datasources may overlap, requiring integration. Another groupidentified that overlapping (duplicate) data represents a valuableway to measure and ensure the integrity and security of theinformation.
  22. 22. FuTRO supplier launch event20 RSSBNot all data needs to be directly and primarily sensed by therailway. One group highlighted the use of information from mobilephone networks as an implicit source of information about what ishappening on the railway, as well as commenting that mobilephones themselves are full of sensors.It was also observed that the ownership of data is a key issue, andthat there is an additional question about which data should bemade open, and which restricted.Echoing a common theme across challenges, it was recognisedthat what it means for data to have integrity and security is notclearly defined. Importantly, in this context, it was suggested thatthis means that such definitions may change over time, implyingthat any technology infrastructure should be designed with suchpossible change in mind.In further considering how threats to integrity and security mightbe addressed, one group asked the question, ‘how would theindustry respond if such a compromise occurred?’. This carriedthe implication that planning in advance for such an undesirablebut perhaps inevitable eventually would be a ‘good idea’.It was suggested that standards for data should be derived fromoutside the rail industry, perhaps from the financial or militarydomains, allowing data interchange and the sharing oftechnology. Echoing an earlier point, it was further suggested thatstandards should be designed to change as customerexpectations and technology changes. Finally, one groupsuggested that standards should include moral standards relatingto data sharing.Comment This is an area that is full of possibilities, and where there is verysignificant work in other sectors. Technology for distributedsensor networks is being developed in many industries includinglogistics, farming, manufacturing, automotive, aviation, energy,housing and anywhere, in fact, where valuable assets aredistributed around the environment. This technology, and thetechniques that accompany it, are often included under theincreasingly common cross-industry banner of the Internet ofThings.Delegates identified the possibility of data coming fromunexpected sources, and this thought could be pursued further.
  23. 23. RSSB 21Mobile phone data from the network and from the phone itself isa potentially very rich source. Nearly every passenger on everytrain is carrying a device that contains six or more sensors(location, acceleration, sound, light, and so on), and the means tocommunicate sensor measurements. More generally, in ourconnected world, measurements of many things can be used toindirectly infer information about many others, creating yet moreopportunities for open innovation.The collection of a rich picture of what is going on is itself also agreat opportunity for openness. By aggressively pursuing apresumption of data sharing, the industry could catalyseinnovation from the many enthusiastic third parties (app writers,for example) who fill gaps and provide services wherever data ismade available. This has already happened with aviation data,and on the London Underground, and represents a furtherpotentially valuable resource for FuTRO and the future railway ingeneral.
  24. 24. FuTRO supplier launch event22 RSSBConclusion - The day in a pictureDelegates came to the FuTRO launch day to hear about FuTRO,to meet each other, and to experience a little of the openinnovation approach that will be part of delivering the whole story.Once the breakout sessions were complete, delegates gatheredagain briefly for a feedback session, followed by a networkinglunch. Many delegates stayed on to talk and to debate further.Throughout the day, 100%Open’s lead designer had been onhand to act to act as resident artist. He captured the spirit of theday in a large mural drawn on the window of the main conferenceroom at the British Library. The full image can be seen the day behind us, we can begin the process ofunderstanding what delegates said and asked. We can alsosummarise the four key open innovation themes that emerged,and give them names:
  25. 25. RSSB 23Monitor How will we know what’s happening on the rail system, both inreal time and over time? What can we either measure directly, orinfer from other sources?Involve How will we engage and interact with customers, understandingwhat they need, telling them what’s available, and including themas one of our sources of innovation?Optimise How will we introduce new ways to decide what should happen onthe rail system, again in real time and over time? Who will controlwhat: man or machine?Guide How will the railway industry, its customs, procedures, regulationsand culture need to evolve to both support and allow the fullFuTRO vision to emerge?We propose these four open innovation themes (Monitor, Involve,Optimise and Guide) as the core of FuTROs engagementstrategy. We are developing each one into a detailed innovationpathway, leading to a concrete vision for the year 2042. We hopethat many different innovators will now join this journey; theircontributions being both coordinated and connected by our openinnovation themes.
  26. 26. FuTRO supplier launch event24 RSSBAppendix 1 - Background reading Readers who are less familiar with the rail industry may beinterested in the following documents that contain moredetailed information on many of the topics covered in thisreport. All are available by searching the web for report title,or directly accessing the website concerned. THE FUTURE RAILWAY – The industry’s Rail TechnicalStrategy 2012, TSLG Enabling innovation in the rail industry, RSSB Enabling technical innovation in the GB rail industry –barriers and solutions, prepared for RSSB by Arthur D LittleLtd Our Railway’s Future, Network Rail National Passenger Survey (bi-annual report), PassengerFocus
  27. 27. RSSB 25Appendix 2 - Verbatim breakout cardsWhat follows is a verbatim transcription of the cards generated inthe various breakout sessions of the FuTRO launch event. Eachbullet point records the content of a single card. A very fewchanges have been made for clarity, when this would be lostthrough the transcription process. An equally small number ofhard-to-read words have been marked as [sic], or in severe casesomitted from the transcript as unreadable.Challenge 1: Meetingcustomer needsQ1. How will we understand the needs ofpassengers and freight customers over the next15-40 years? Research into future travel patterns and all the factors thatwill influence them. Psychology. Working Practices.Multimodal Information architect. Looking broadly, political, economic,social, technological & organisational factors. Chunk upfuture projections 15 years, then 30 years, 40 years.Different levels of certainty. Need to talk to those groups asmuch as possible, identifying themes. Market research. Research all existing available relevant data(demographics, wider economy…) and make it available torail. Remember: think about ‘not yet’ customers, not thosewho use rail today; system needs to be flexible to respondto future unforeseen needs; the act of making the railwaymore consumer-centric will itself generate new needs. MyNeeds. Political, society, demographic, economic,technological, geographical, landscape. Crowd-sourcedinformation. (1) Create a multi-modal learning system and use intelligentinformation for train planning (flexible, meet demand). Totallearning system.Q2. How will customers know what the railway isoffering them, both in advance and in real time? Personal info/learning from usage – direct to passenger andintermodal. The ‘system’ will know you! MyJourney. Real time. Single trustworthy source of info. Tothe right person in the right format. Mobile. For my journey. Massively interactive human satnav. Google intermodaltransport apps. One universal system, baseline – add on
  28. 28. FuTRO supplier launch event26 RSSBservice menu/needs. Interactive, real-time, human, sat-nav.Rail, road, foot, tube, stations, offers, TM system, informs ofnew route. Central brain (which manages scheduling on trains)directing passengers depending on capacity / disruptionsetc. This would include data push (PIDD), apps for journeyplanning (personalised schedule), delivery of schedules inadvance. How information is offered is not the issue – any availablechannel. Research to develop and keep up-to-date whatcustomers WANT to know. [Nature and quality ofinformation]Q3. How will the system design contribute toreducing passenger stress and improvingsatisfaction? Buy the journey, not the ticket. Consistency of journeyservice. Confidence/trust. Deliver pertinent, consistent, personalised journeyinformation in a timely manner – live. And tell me what to donext. U-Rail. Sat Nav Rail Angel: (1) Real-time intelligence of space/capacity. (2) Have satnav that allows you to set the criteriaand advises you on the costs. (3) Tells you where you are. Human needs focus. Time, punctuality, energy, Quality ofservice. Customer-centred algorithms for success / perfectsystem, not just simple assumptions of e.g. punctuality.Advanced info system to customers. Transparency / makingdata available. Standardised info at stations, individualisedelsewhere. Customer-centric studies to understand stress-drivers.Customer needs and information provision taken on boardin designing system to offer simple, reliable, consistent,predictable and regular services. Inter-modal. Looselyfederated systems. Real-time system behaviour at a point in time. Pitch for thecustomer now! Live availability, live privileges. Sci-fithinking – future possibilities. Passengers needs haven’tchanged over 50 years. Fatter, heavier, less mobile people.Listen to social media. Visibility of problems, infrastructure.Poll them, ask them. End-to-end journeys. Carborail [sic?]Premium price / journey time / comfort.
  29. 29. RSSB 27Challenge 2:Optimising systemperformanceQ1. What are the criteria of system performancethat will be important? Reliability and consistency. Measures of certainty. Flow.Multi-modal models. Resilience of whole network. De-centralised. Real-time information. Reacts to customerdemand short-term and long-term and socio-economic. Trains on time. Safety & Capacity & Sustainability & Costs. Cost, Carbon, Capacity, Customer Experience! + Reliability+ Integration performance with the rest of transport +Flexibility for different needs. System is whole transport system, not the railway. Outcome-based criteria – demand led by customers andbusiness models. Flexibility to deliver all needs. How do we define the boundaries of the system? Trade-off between performance and environment andcapacity. These three criteria are potentially mutuallyexclusive. Encourage modal transfer to rail. No timetable – real timeadaptive service levels. Learning systems. Criteria: openinformation availability; Capacity where and when it isneeded (turn up and go); Safety; Optimising customerexpectations, certainly of knowing what is happening. Whois the customer? A measure of performance = could the customer use theinformation provided to them to complete their plannedjourney? We need a portfolio of measures that represent the interestsof stakeholders. Eg reliability of trains and infrastructure.Timely and accurate information. How to evaluate extremes (is 2x5 = 1x10?). How to tradeamong the 4 c’s. How to customer experience vs CO2.Economic or political business case. Relative safefollowing. Track plates for safety. Hierarchy. Plan to deliverbottom up. Criteria of system performance: time (of journey); cost(value for money); quality/reliability; safety; sustainability.All of these from a customer’s perspective.
  30. 30. FuTRO supplier launch event28 RSSBQ2. How will we develop tools, algorithms, costfunctions, timetables, and so on? Develop all tools etc based on a demand-led framework –transport and mobility needs. Collaboratively – business models; data-sharing; with operators. University research. Better industry and academiaengagement. Look at other sectors / different industries.(Catapult, RRUKA)Q3. What are the technical and commercialconstraints on performance? What are thealternatives? If you maximise capacity you compromise safety. Analgorithm based on traffic (freight / high-speed), type,speed, braking coefficients – all data is not created equally.The COST of real-time. Technology, model, sensing,computer capacity, model availability, trade-off to vohe [sic].What are the incentives for sharing data with stakeholders(eg TOCs with NR)? Mobile operators. ContractDURATION, revenue model. How to scale and generaterevenue. Barriers to entry – IP. Rail network infrastructure isa constraint. Mobile phones are optimised for road not rail. Turn fragmentation into customer choice with technology.Eg data sharing. Risk & reward re-thinking. No whole system approach yet. Money flow? Change of culture / industry structure. Cyber security. Gauge/track constraints. Is a different traffic-managementapproach sufficient to meet capacity needs? There is aduplication of investment in different parts of industryseeking the same prize? Conflict with objective to cut costs.Reduced risk and hassle of comechans [sic]. Optimised forWHO? Link from social media to optimisation? Structure of industry. Need collaborative structure. Currentstructure is adversarial. Optimum criteria. Short vs long-term. Local vs system.Benchmarks. Tension between radical vision and step-by-step art of thecurrently possible.
  31. 31. RSSB 29 Start from benchmark problems. Open access simulations.Apply existing algorithms to benchmark problems tounderstand which algorithms good/bad for which problems. 4C’s (Customer / Carbon / Cost / Capacity). Vision/strategy/tactics. Trade-off between simplicity/support in real-time.The focus could change during the day even. Optimising bywhat criteria? In what timeframe? Long-term or minute-by-minute?Challenge 3: Humanand automaticcontrolQ1. Which things should be controlledautomatically, which by humans, and which incombination? Trade-offs good for humans. All things can be run bycomputer. No procedure – human good. People good atinteractivity. Subjectivity vs objectivity. Human touch – say,illness. Computers are dumb. Random events better for<unreadable>. Tsunami Japanese nuclear. From customer experience perspective more humancontrol/responsive -> demand responsive railway.Operations -> less human, more automation. Automate back-office systems. Automate what ispredictable/reliable. Maintain human for unplanned, majorevents. Under normal conditions computers can do nearlyeverything they are programmed [to do]. Under extremeconditions (humans). Humans can look at trade-offs andcompromises. Under full automation procedure can be usedto mitigate risk. Computers not good at interacting withpeople (human touch). People like to have human contact even tough can beautomated must have both for consumer facing services. Ifautomate everything what is the impact to the economy –leisure time for all… Automatic control – repeatable and predictable. Decisionsupport to humans. Things that only happen every ten yearsplus and need a level of intelligence that only humans canprovide.
  32. 32. FuTRO supplier launch event30 RSSBQ2. How can technology be used to supporthuman decision-making? Two main focus areas: drivers; signalling; (maintenance).Distinguish between managing errors versus violations.Technology/automated systems for normal and predictable.Human interaction when needed. Culture – manage change[to automated systems] gradually. Technology should offer a range of options to the human. Need to provide training for normal operation and failuresituations. Which humans? Train operators, customers/passengers,maintainers, infrastructure operators. Reducing the humanreliance? –only in emergencies. –automate to reduceerrors. Its about integrating the different decision support systems– engineering, commercial and operational. Also there is arisk of automating everything! Hudson River air incident.Q3. What tools and interfaces will be neededbetween humans and technology? User interface technology – voice? Touch? Head updisplay? Passenger demand? Can this be more direct, eg.ultra prt at Heathrow T5 or voting mechanism. Unenclosedrailway = no driver? Or do detection systems mean no driverrequired? Remote supervision eg. drones, control centre. How to provide passengers directly with an interface withthe traffic management system – Passengers can make/influence decisions. Simple and intuitive ways of communicating to passengersto actively manage capacity. Transparency or operating decisions such as connections.How can passengers have confidence about decisionsmade to help them that don’t know have been made? Centralised control strategy from the start. Adaptive,resilient, automation. ‘ENE’ following control.Rationalisation of ‘pertinent timely data’. Ref Dutchhealthcare R&D: tactile sensory input. Move away fromresponse to alarms as poor decisions! Remote supervision -> Air Drone. Inform operator of outcomes. How do we integrate different decision-making [support?]systems?
  33. 33. RSSB 31Challenge 4: Dealingwith dataQ1. How is data to be sensed, collected,communicated, processed, stored and displayed? Integrate data to create information. Harmonise disparatesystems. Instrumentation and sensing. Instrument as much as youcan. Survey inc passenger and goods instrumentation.Social networks. Mobile signals. Etc. Communicate: right frequency – real time; near real time;signal vs noise. Multichannel to GSM-R. GSM usingcommercial services. Enterprise service = treat as a streamof data. Pushed out or personalised. Underpinning the question is the need for effective datamanagement / ownership. Who should be responsible forwhat data? Setting of policies, understanding of costs &benefits, ensuring collaboration. Security and safety. Only ensure the right people canaccess the right data from source. Open IT architecture. Standard interfaces. Open-sourcesoftware. Formal methods.Q2. How are the vulnerabilities and threats tointegrity and security to be addressed? Quality of data – cross correlation; sensor health; critical;embedded intelligence. Integrity and security are NOT defined. Indeed the definitionwill change according to the mechanism (sensor) beingaddressed. Categories: Train separation; train position; timetable;passenger origin / destination; infrastructures. Dataflows. Bandwidth. Continuity. Data fidelity. Delay/interruptions. How would the railway system respond when data securityis compromised? Shut down? Back up system? Plan B? Is the data correct and timely? Measure the right thing. What data to make open / keep within industry. Process for FuTRO to follow: (1) Categorise data in/used bythe system; (2) Understand the threats/vulnerabilitiesassociated with the different types of data; (3) What are theconsequences of data being compromised? (4) What arethe safeguards/mitigations (look outside the rail industry);(5) Need for on-going learning / keep abreast of emergingthoughts.
  34. 34. FuTRO supplier launch event32 RSSBQ3. What standards are relevant and how are theyto be managed? Organisational and governance structures to enablestandards to adapt to changing technologies and customerneeds. Leveraging standard from financial and military fortimeliness and integrity of data. (as well as other transportmodes). Moral standards on acceptable use of private and customerdata. Balance with accessibility for valuable purposes. Start with whole system view of whole lifecycle. Manage itjust as a physical, valuable asset. Intrusion detection and cyber security becoming essential.Defend against malicious DISTRUPTION attempt. Defenceagainst UNSAFE is a given. Common standard and protocols with other industries so asto share toolsets and data/information.
  35. 35. RSSBBlock 2 Angel Square1 Torrens StreetLondonEC1V