Following the successful introduction of true driverless metro systems in Paris in 1998 and Copenhagen in 2002, Beijing’s 10-station Yan Fang line is embracing a fully automated and driverless metro system, which will be operational by 2017.
A traffic control integrated automation system (TIAS), developed by Beijing’s HollySys will power the Yan Fang line and enable trains to run automatically with no onboard staff required. TIAS has met IEC 62267 standards at Grade of Automation (GOA) Level 4, which is the highest level for metro automation defined by the international union of public transport (UITP).
Driverless train technology is gaining widespread adoption and is now implemented in over 50 metro lines worldwide. Fully driverless networks are set to redefine the future of urban metro systems and the UITP estimates that 75% of new metro lines and 40% existing lines will use driverless train technology by 2020. This technology is enabling new levels of efficiency and safety at a time when many metro systems are operating at the limits of their capacity.
The Challenges of TIAS
Traditional metro information systems comprise multiple subsystems such as passenger information systems, environment and equipment monitoring systems, signal systems, communication systems, and more. The control of these subsystems is typically decentralized and uses power supply/loop control for integrated monitoring.
As metro information systems move towards a TIAS, a centralized system based on a unified network will intelligently monitor and control all subsystems to improve operational scheduling efficiency and track potential hazards. However, the scale of the new metro information system which includes a vast number of servers, workstations, and devices to enable new applications, is straining existing ICT infrastructure. Take the Yan Fang line as example, it has a subway line of about 30km which requires over 120 PC servers and over 150 workstations.
Additionally, the complexity and rigidity of the existing ICT infrastructure make the sharing of data between subsystems challenging, which limits the efficiency and reliability of resources and hinders the opportunity to move towards a fully automated and driverless system. It is also unable to cope with the scale of growth predicted over the next few years, given new developments such as TIAS integration with Automatic Train Stop (ATS) systems.
Advancing Urban Rail Transit with a Cloud TIAS
To overcome these challenges, Huawei is focused on developing innovative ICT to deliver an intelligent ICT infrastructure that allows flexible, reliable and efficient service expansion to advance urban rail transit in smart cities.
Huawei Cloud traffic control integrated automation system (TIAS) delivers an innovative, cloud-based solution to power a fully automated and driverless metro system while meeting safety, efficiency, data sharing, and intelligent connectivity requirements.
Huawei has introduced a cloud solution for TIAS which can be used in the Operations Control Center (OCC), workstations in service centers, and devices, to enable the interconnectivity and analysis of data across the entire line, informing and empowering metro operations decision-making in real-time.
Deployed in the OCC, Huawei’s FusionCube is an all-in-one, cloud-based ICT system that fully integrates computing, storage, and networking with an automated virtualization and management system. FusionCube allows TIAS to quickly deploy applications, middleware, and database on a single platform, eliminating the complicated deployment, testing procedures, and lengthy delivery time of traditional hardware architecture. Given TIAS integrates service systems such as ATS, Brake Assist System (BAS), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), FusionCube enables TIAS to quickly scale to meet the demands of these systems, while ensuring a high level of security.
TIAS requires a high volume of specialized workstations implemented at each site. These devices are typically noisy, power consuming, and increase security risks, which can impact operations and maintenance. Huawei provides desktop cloud technology to enable virtualized desktop services in all locations, with Thin Clients (TCs) being used to access virtual desktops over the network. This virtualized architecture provides high availability and reliability and helps increase resource utilization.
Line dispatchers use TCs with a three-screen display, while power dispatchers, loop dispatchers, passenger dispatchers, and train dispatchers use TCs with two-screen displays. The GPU’s direct connection feature is suitable for line dispatchers, power dispatchers, and loop dispatcher workstations in GPU-intensive scenarios.
TIAS depends on many interconnected systems with high data security requirements, and therefore Huawei has customized an industrial-grade AR515 Internet of Things (IoT) gateway with a built-in X86 platform, providing distributed computing and high-level security.
TIAS uses Huawei’s cloud architecture to enhance performance, improve resource utilization, minimize power and space costs, and drive overall operation and maintenance efficiencies. To enable a fully connected rail transit era, Huawei will use cloud computing, big data, LTE, and other innovative ICT technologies to help global metro customers achieve high security, high efficiency, and high quality services, while developing an energy saving and intelligent urban rail transit system.