Worldwide railway organisation concluded 4th UIC Digital Conference

UIC, the worldwide railway organization, organised the 4th edition of the UIC Digital Conference on 6 December in front of over 100 attendees. Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director General, underlined how digital could support the development of mobility. Mr Bjorn WESTERBERG, CEO of the Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies ASTOC (Sweden), delivered a keynote speech focusing on the impact of AI on maintenance processes.

Worldwide railway organisation concluded 4th UIC Digital Conference

UIC, the worldwide railway organization, organised the 4th edition of the UIC Digital Conference on 6 December in front of over 100 attendees. Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX, UIC Director General, underlined how digital could support the development of mobility. Mr Bjorn WESTERBERG, CEO of the Association of Swedish Train Operating Companies ASTOC (Sweden), delivered a keynote speech focusing on the impact of AI on maintenance processes.

This conference was the opportunity to report on the Proof of Concept (PoC) designed and implemented in Ottawa Station by VIA Rail Canada within the UIC DIGIM (Dgital Impact on Business) I programme.

The Clearstation project provides via digital devices and a smartphone applications real autonomy in railway stations to blind passengers. The PoC has been successfully tested by a panel of visually impaired travellers and has now been turned into a pilot.

GOSENSE, a French start-up has demonstrated a double innovative project to support blind persons in their daily life in the city, providing them a safe and autonomous way to move in cities.

Mr Francis BEDEL, Chief Digital Officer, presented the planned activities in 2019 of the UIC Digital Platform focusing on two main events:

– 1st UIC African Rail Digital Summit planned in Cape town on 25 – 27 February 2019;
– 1st UIC Global Digital Rail Conference in partnership with INFRABEL in Brussels on 3 – 5 June 2019. Detailed information for these two major events will be issued in the near future.

Ms Parinaz BAGHEZI, winner of the 1st UIC Digital Awards then reported on her exciting experience.

UIC Digital Awards ceremony
The 2018 UIC Digital Awards ceremony was chaired by Mr Gianluigi Vittorio CASTELLI, Chairman of FS Italiane and UIC Chairman together with Mr Jean-Pierre LOUBINOUX.

4 start-ups were awarded:

  • D-RAIL (Sweden)
  • RADRAIL (Iran)
  • TRAXENS (France)
  • Beijing Innovation & Intelligence Technology Co., Ltd (China)

For the second year, the UIC Digital Awards were sponsored by AWS.
Each winner received 5000 USD of credit for AWS services. Moreover, 1000 USD of AWS services were granted to the first 50 applicants.


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Messrs. CASTELLI and LOUBINOUX closed the ceremony highlighting the importance of digital developments for the rail sector and how UIC Digital Platform could support Members to apply its three principles of “SHARE – OPEN – CONNECT.”

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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