The 2024 Olympics has given air and river shuttles a boost to make the city of light’s image shine across the world. These initiatives reflect a revolution in the work system in the land transport sector. On the horizon: a positive diversion, in particular thanks to the advent of electricity and hydrogen. Highlight four technological breakthroughs in public transport to follow closely. Written by Pierre Leger, Partner at TNP.
Decarbonizing rail transport is the ambition demonstrated by the national operator in 2035. On electrified lines, which account for 55% of lines but 80% of traffic, the goal is to consume less. New technologies will make it possible to fulfill this challenge, but not only. Thus, the TGV M, the new generation of TGV, whose commercial speed will change slightly, will enter service by the end of 2024. Thanks to the reconsidered aerodynamics and the return of energy to the catenary during braking, it already offers a consumption reduction of 20%.
When we know that file SNCF is the leading industrial consumer From electricity in France, we measure the potential for environmental driving. Solutions are posted to improve driving. Ultimately, the automation of trains will allow us to move forward.
Other, more disruptive technologies are being tested. In Japan, for example, the Maglev train, which is a magnetic levitation train with superconducting electromagnets, exceeds 600 km / h. The first tests are crucial, and these trains should go into commercial operation in 2027. But just like the Hyperloop, these groundbreaking technologies require expensive dedicated infrastructures to build.
When non-electrified lines are running, diesel trains must give way hydrogen and battery-powered trains. Electrification of these lines where only a few trains are running is not profitable. Hydrogen trains, which have been successfully tested in Germany and France by the industrialist Alstom, are quieter than diesel trains and have greater autonomy than battery-powered trains. They should also see that their cost is significantly reduced thanks to the reduction of fuel cells used in the production of the power source. Four French regions have already ordered 12 units, for optimum use in dual mode: electric with screws and hydrogen in the rest of the network.
ATO It (automatic train operation) will provide several important advantages: Larger Punctualitymore traffic liquid and one discount consumption.
The autonomous train will provide more or less automated driving depending on the level chosen from the 4 available. If the metro has reached the highest level, the line trains are only at the beginning.
Prototypes are already in circulation in France, Germany and the Netherlands for regional freight and passenger trains. Automation will be achieved gradually. Before it can be circulated, you must prove that the security is fully guaranteed. Detect obstacles, make decisions against them, read side signs or hack real challenges!
In search of optimum safety, commuter train drivers will be on board for a long time to come.
It’s a less obvious but important technological revolution: the trains, trains, and buses of tomorrow will be largely equipped with connected things. This technology will make it possible to track all operational information and enhance predictive maintenance. In shipping, sensors will be deployed to control the loads: humidity, temperature, precise geolocation, and so on. Thus, customers will be able to accurately track their goods and avoid load breaks.
Combined transit should grow aggressively to double the typical share of rail freight by 2030, from 9% to 18%. We could already see the development of shared transfer stations that automate recharge operations.
By 2025, RATP will convert its thermal bus centers to cleaner buses powered by electricity or GN biogas. At the same time, hydrogen buses are also experiencing strong growth: more than fifty communities have planned them, accounting for about a thousand buses by 2030.
Just like rail transport and in an experiment in the Paris region with line 393, autonomous buses should carry passengers soon and gradually spread. High-level service buses, running at speed on dedicated lanes, will be prime candidates for their development, as some of the achievements in China attest.
Thanks to New technologies, Services will not be outdone: Bus passenger information, personality and multimedia will be updated. Thus, buses and trams will recognize travelers to provide them with the most relevant information: where to ride when it’s busy, warn the traveler when you get off, and automatically book a bike if needed by estimating the remaining time at any time. Finally, the traveler will be guided throughout their journey. revolution !
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