Roberto Tundo, Chief Technology, Innovation & Digital Officer of the Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group will be at ITWeek on 30 September at 2 pm in Sala Fucine.
The key word is “connection”. That in the case of the FS Group led by CEO Luigi Ferraris however, it has a double meaning: on the one hand the connection of places, an intrinsic mission of rail transport, on the other hand, the digital connection, also exploiting the potential of the internet of things (IoT).
Connectivity and digitalization – together with people, the third enabling factor – are at the heart of the Fs Group’s industrial plan for the next decade, which provides for investments of 190 billion euros to create an integrated infrastructure and mobility services system for people and goods. each other, effective and sustainable. Furthermore, among the objectives of Italian FS is the creation of a digital ecosystem with five common platforms that meet the needs of smart mobility, and the “Gigabitrail and roads” project, which provides for the laying of additional cables of adequate capacity along the 17 thousand kilometers of railway network to make the connection usable in an optimal way during the journey of trains and buses and to ensure wi-fi also in 2,200 railway stations. The investment, about 2 billion euros included in the Program Agreement and functional to the technological upgrading of the lines and to develop widespread connectivity, also has as its objective the implementation especially in rural areas, often not adequately covered by telecommunication signals.
The development of technologies, digitization, the implementation of digital platforms and the IoT will allow – within the group’s objectives – to offer users a complete travel experience, without interruptions and integrated with other means of transport. Going to deliver a journey that is truly door-to-door.
How can mobility of this type be achieved, in which digitization is able to concretely affect the quality of a trip? Imagine that along the entire railway network there are sensors, as well as cameras and antennas, connected to the network and able to collect and transmit data in real time, in order not only to provide timely information to travelers, but also to evaluate and optimize the predictive maintenance interventions.
In addition to digital transformation, a crucial goal is the energy transition, which in the case of FS also takes the form of self-production. First consumer of energy in Italy (about 2% of national needs), the Fs will invest 1.6 billion euros in the installation of renewable plants with a production capacity of 2 gigawatts, which will make it possible to generate total energy equal to 40% of total consumption (about 2.6 terawatt hours). At the same time, CO2 emissions will be reduced to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Not only that: the photovoltaic and small wind plants planned by FS – activated in areas close to the group’s infrastructures – will make a significant contribution to the production of clean energy in Italy, equal to about 10% of the total. The processes to start the construction of the plants have already started and the first realizations will start from 2023. All this is also associated with the renewal of the train fleet, with consumption reduced by 30%.
In a long-term perspective and that goes beyond the next decade, FS aims to offer new means of transport based on the most advanced technologies. This is the context of the agreement signed with Mims, the Puglia Region and the Authority of the Port of Taranto to carry out the experimentation in the field of magnetic levitation transport systems, both by exploiting the existing infrastructures and creating new ones. Magnetic levitation (also called “maglev”) is based on the repulsion and magnetic attraction between train and rail, which in this way never come into contact, drastically reducing friction (produced only by air) and consumption, and reaching speed very high. It will take some time for such a prospect to become reality, but for this very reason it is crucial that the research and development phase starts immediately. Allowing the world of transport to begin the journey towards a new era.