The long-term deployment plan for ETCS (European Train Control System) is only part of the overall digital railway programme with other parts including traffic management, automatic train operation, telecoms and a connected driver advisory system (C-DAS) to support drivers with the delivery of operational performance and energy efficiency.
Full ETCS will take many years to provide, however KeTech prides itself on forward thinking and driving innovation in the rail industry. Punctuality and energy efficiency are key issues within the rail industry. Recognizing this, KeTech created a truly connected driver advisory system, utilising signalling and other data sources in order to provide a bespoke solution. Rail industry expert Paul Darlington describes KeTech’s C-DAS as “A key differentiator in the industry”.
A Driver Advisory System (DAS) is an on-board processor-based system that provides a driver with information to achieve the timetable sustainably. Connected Driver Advisory System (C-DAS) takes things a step further providing an enhanced communications link, to truly deliver real-time information. KeTech has experienced, industry-expert designers and engineers. As a result, KeTech has proven experience in the design and delivery of real-time railway systems linked to operational signalling equipment. To date, KeTech has real-time information systems deployed with over 50 percent of UK TOC’s. All these systems work reliably in the harsh EMC and challenging environmental envelopes. KeTech is therefore ideally placed to design a reliable user-friendly C-DAS system.
KeTech’s C-DAS intelligently manages communications connectivity and is able to fallback gracefully to DAS mode in the event of comms loss. It is the first, and only, situationally aware system capable of dynamically informing train drivers of critical changes on the route ahead of a train. The user-friendly DMI display presents important and useful information, such as route position, optimal speed, and coasting. Any significant events on the track will automatically be interpreted into driving advice and passed on to the driver in real-time. If the train is behind time and if the line and train speed limits are capable of a higher speed, then this will be advised to a driver, or, if the train is running early, a more efficient speed profile can be advised, both to save energy and wear and tear of the train. This is complemented by a suite of reporting facilities.
KeTech’s C-DAS has the capability to be completely connected to the whole rail network. Unlike other C-DAS products, KeTech’s C-DAS does not just rely on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers, but has access to many other sources of positional information including signalling data and the train management system (TMS) – a train-borne distributed control information system, which uses data such as wheel rotation counting to ensure a reliable and accurate location information feed. KeTech’s C-DAS uses signalling (train describer) data to identify when a train has been changed from its planned route and reforecasts the revised route that the train will be taking, adjusting the route profile automatically.
KeTech’s C-DAS can be provided as a software or mixed technology solution. KeTech’s C-DAS system is flexible and can be adapted. It is easy to operate and interpret, giving drivers peace of mind throughout their journey, while providing a better smoother journey for customers. A truly Connected Driver Advisory System is here now, delivering results as we speak.