October 26, 2017

New French laboratory explores intelligent transport systems

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BOMBARDIER Transportation, Prosyst, and the University of Valenciennes & Hainaut-Cambrésis (UVHC) have inaugurated a new joint laboratory, Surferlab, from which the partners aim to explore innovative industrial solutions in embedded digital technologies in order to improve transport safety and increase the intelligence of services.

The Surferlab research team is focusing on three main areas: connected and predictive maintenance, learning and models in artificial intelligence, and product life-cycle design and optimisation in the context of sustainable development.

Surferlab is a continuation of the FUI Surfer project, which aimed to develop a system for the active diagnosis and detection of onboard breakdowns of train doors in order to provide predictive maintenance techniques to increase availability. The new project is looking to expand this research to other transport modes as well as to introduce it across fleets and all types of equipment.

In addition, Surferlab is looking to develop new concepts based on scientific work conducted at UVHV that can be applied in transport systems. This could include the embedding artificial intelligence-based processing capabilities in a train to fulfil and optimise different operating, surveillance, and/or diagnostics functions.

The laboratory is co-financed by the Hauts-de-France Region and the European Regional Development Fund has a €2.1m budget. The facility has 16 permanent staff - three from Prosyst, four from Bombardier, and nine lecturer-researchers from UVHC. It is the first time in France that a manufacturer, an SME, and a university have pooled their resources into a research and development venture targeting the transport sector.

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