Cisco Focuses on Railroads With New IoT Solution
With its Connected Rail offering, Cisco is looking to make rail travel easier and safer for passengers and more efficient for railways.Cisco Systems is bringing its Internet of things expertise to the railroad industry, introducing a solution that is designed to modernize aging networks at railroads, improve safety, drive down expenses and give passengers an improved connected experience. Cisco this week unveiled Connected Rail, a portfolio of offerings from the networking giant and its partners that company officials said will have benefits for both the railroad operators and the passengers who ride the trains. The Internet of things (IoT) solution—part of Cisco's larger Transportation Smart Solution initiative aimed at railways and other transportation systems—comprises a broad range of the company's products, from networking switches and routers, to video surveillance cameras, TelePresence video conferencing systems, wireless access points, digital signage and software. The solution is designed to cover all aspects of the railway system, from the trains themselves to the stations. It comes at a time when railways are dealing with a range of challenges, from aging systems to difficult environmental situations to new federal safety requirements. Cisco's offering is designed to address all those challenges, Barry Einsig, global transportation executive for Cisco's vertical business solutions business, told eWEEK.
The Connected Rail includes four offerings, such as Connected Station. The component takes the various disparate parts of traditional in-station networks and communications systems and brings them together into a standards-based IP network. The network includes everything from routers and switches to surveillance cameras, digital signage and video storage. Data around location can more easily enable railway officials to track traffic and alert passengers when there is a schedule delay, while video cameras will enable railway officials to keep tabs on what's going on in their stations and more quickly deal with issues of safety and scheduling.