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SMRT partners A*Star to develop solutions to improve transport reliability

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 11:08
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SMRT Corporation said on Thursday that it will partner the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) to develop technologies to improve Singapore's transport network reliability and performance.

SMRT Corporation said on Thursday that it will partner the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) to develop technologies to improve Singapore's transport network reliability and performance.

The five-year collaboration agreement will bring together the rail operations and engineering capabilities of SMRT, the strengths in sensor networks and data analytics of I2R, as well as expertise in computational modelling and simulation of IHPC. I2R (Institute for Infocomm Research) and IHPC (Institute of High Performance Computing) are research institutes under A*Star.

Projects that the teams will be exploring include installing sensors to monitor the health condition of station equipment that could help SMRT engineers conduct preventive maintenance, extending the mean time between failures and improve safety.

I2R will work with SMRT engineers to develop an automated condition monitoring system for infrastructure and traction power systems to improve the overall rail network's robustness.

IHPC will develop a non-intrusive condition monitoring system for railway cables for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), complementing the existing voltage monitoring devices that are progressively being introduced to provide resilience against power faults. This project will allow SMRT engineers at the NSEWL Operations Control Centre to receive instant notifications when electrical discharges associated with damaged cables are detected.

"This initiative is part of SMRT's ongoing effort to invest in research and development, working with established partners such as A*STAR to leverage on technology as part of our concerted effort to improve rail reliability and service quality,'' SMRT president and group CEO, Desmond Kuek, said in a release. "Through this collaboration, we hope to drive the application of technology in operational performance, work efficiency and business growth."

Lee Ling Wee, managing director of SMRT Trains, elaborated that the parties aim to co-develop solutions that would provide additional early warning systems that would allow the rectification of issues before they happen. Rail engineers are also expected to benefit from the advanced modelling and statistical analytics that A*Star will provide.

SMRT will also establish a joint lab with IHPC with a focus on research and development to improve the operational efficiency and reliability of bus and taxi services. The project aims to help SMRT "better anticipate and manage potential issues such as bunching or traffic congestion, and ensure stricter adherence to bus schedules''.

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