SAN JOSE, CA /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- IEEE Spectrum has recognized IBM's (NYSE:IBM) smarter transportation work with Russian Railways as a project that the technology business magazine expects to achieve great social benefit and commercial success.
IBM's project with the Russian Railways was identified as the technology having the most promising potential to provide the greatest benefit to humankind. IBM's award—the 2010 IEEE Spectrum ACE Award for Technology in the Service of Society—was presented at the 6th Annual EE Times ACE Awards in San Jose, CA.
"We are seeing a renaissance in rail with the advent of new smarter techniques and technologies," said Keith Dierkx, director of IBM's Global Rail Innovation Center. "Analytics and sensors are transforming rail systems around the world to be faster, greener and safer. Rail passengers are benefiting from more reliable and seamless travel as well as real-time data on train schedules, while freight operators can deliver goods with even greater economic efficiencies."
IBM is overhauling Russian Railways' software infrastructure to consolidate data centers and adopt new automation software. IBM and Russian Railways are working together to improve the efficiency of one of the world's largest, most vital rail networks—managing the movements of the 1.3 billion passengers and just as many tons of freight that pass through the country each year. The Russian rail system handles almost 80 percent of all transportation in Russia.
The nominees were chosen from the "Winning" technologies featured in the IEEE Spectrum special January "Winners and Losers 2010" issue. The magazine's editors considered more than 50 possible candidates before making their winning selections including IBM's project with the Russian Railways.
In addition to Russian Railways, IBM is working with more than 60 rail operators around the world to create smarter rail projects. IBM operates a Global Rail Innovation Center in Beijing that brings together the world's foremost industry leaders, researchers and universities to advance next-generation rail systems.
With rising fuel prices and congestion on roadways, railroads have emerged as a fuel- and cost-efficient means of moving goods. Rail is two to five times more energy efficient than road or air transportation, and passenger travel by rail produces three to ten times less CO2 than cars.
There are technical innovations required to create smarter rail systems. IBM helps rail clients manage the complex processes of train travel and optimize their network with:
- predictive maintenance, utilization and productivity of the train cars, tracks and equipment;
- optimizing and dynamically rescheduling of trains' movements;
- surveillance of tracks and infrastructure; and
- integration with other transportation modes such as bus, air travel and shipping to provide a seamless flow of goods and people.
IBM applies software, hardware, research and services to build smarter rail systems. IBM assets and solutions can manage vast and complex sensor networks along the rails collecting and analyzing data gathered from devices on trains, tracks, stations and other assets to improve the speed, safety, and reliability of rail service. This capability can help enhance new rail initiatives such as Positive Train Control and the European Rail Traffic Management System.
IBM works with U.S. regional providers such as the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit to manage the inventory and maintenance systems that support trains, equipment and operations. For the Guangzhou Metro in China, IBM helps to improve the city's rapid transit system serving more than two million passengers per day. Netherlands Railways, one of the busiest national railway networks in Europe, is using IBM software to improve the on-time performance for more than one million passengers each day by more accurately matching the number of trains in service to expected user traffic. The Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation is using IBM software to manage maintenance and logistics for the high-speed rail network that runs along the west coast of Taiwan.
IEEE Spectrum is published monthly by IEEE, the world's largest organization of technology and business leaders. Over 400,000 executives, engineers, and computer scientists at the world's largest companies and universities look to IEEE Spectrum each month for the latest news and most accurate information about new important technology developments.