HS2 joins with Digital Catapult for 5G and machine learning

UK’s High-Speed 2 joins forces with Digital Catapult, a leading UK digital technology innovation centre. As part of a three-year agreement, HS2 will draw on Digital Catapult’s expertise to make use of the potential of emerging technologies such as 5G and machine learning for Britain’s new high speed rail network.

Together with Digital Catapult, HS2 will see if it’s feasible to use advanced digital technologies to manage assets during the construction of the railway. Predicting maintenance requirements during its operation is another element that will be examined.

HS2 is a new high speed railway which will link London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland. It will serve over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities. “Innovation with emerging technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence are set to play an increasingly large role in the success of significant national infrastructure projects like HS2″, comments Dr David Pugh at Digital Catapult. “We’re looking forward to working with HS2 to explore how these technologies can create a long term innovation legacy and impact.”

Monitoring infrastructure

The partnership’s first project is starting this May. It will explore how 5G wireless technology could help monitor HS2 infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels. The new high-speed line will pass through more than 50 kilometres (32 miles) of tunnels and over 16 kilometres (10 miles) of viaducts. By replacing fixed cabled equipment, it could enable flexible, easy and fast deployment of monitoring systems anywhere along the route.

“The boundaries of what digital systems could deliver for HS2 are likely to be far reaching”, says HS2 innovation manager Andrew Pestana. “Linking with Digital Catapult will ensure that HS2’s innovation programme is plugged into this dynamic and exciting environment to harness digital opportunities for designing, building and running Britain’s new high speed rail network.”

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor of RailTech.com

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