THE New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has awarded Humatics and Siemens a $US 14m contract to develop an interoperable Ultra Wideband (UWB) specification, building on the success of a 2019 pilot project which determined the effectiveness of using UWB in conjunction with CBTC.

The 14.5-month project will deliver a specification enabling competition, expanding the UWB ecosystem, and building the foundation for UWB to be used in revenue service in New York.

Humatics says upgrading the NYC subway system with UWB and CBTC will improve overall system reliability and availability and increase capacity, which will significantly improve the passenger experience.

In March 2019, New York City Transit (NYCT) awarded Thales and Piper a contract for a UWB-based train control system pilot project on the Flushing Line, and Siemens and Humatics a contract for a UWB pilot on the Canarsie (L) Line. The pilot’s scope involved preparing UWB for safety certification.

As part of the 2019 UWB pilot, 8.8km of track and four Canarsie Line trains were equipped with Siemens CBTC integrating Humatics UWB technology that successfully passed train control functional testing, was deemed safety certifiable by independent assessors, and was robust, achieving more than one million hours of operation. In addition, the pilot showed UWB equipment can replace several pieces of traditional CBTC positioning equipment, and is easier to install and maintain, reducing operating expenses.

The Humatics Rail Navigation System (HRNS) uses UWB as the primary positioning sensor along with sensors such as Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) instead of traditional odometry sensors such as tachometers, transponders, and doppler radars. These sensors are fused together to provide precise position, speed, and acceleration data to train control systems such as CBTC, PTC, and ERTMS.