The smart railways market has been forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.1% over the next five years, increasing from a value of $12.3 billion at the beginning of 2013, to hit a total of $39.2 billion by the end of 2018.
The high growth rate in the overall rail spending worldwide, with major boom from regional economies such as Asia Pacific including Japan (APAC), Europe (EU), and Middle East and Africa (MEA) and the large number of ongoing and upcoming smart rail transportation projects worldwide are expected to create room for the smart rail systems.
Railroads have always been part of a wider ecosystem -- in the early 20th century, railroads even helped pave the roadways that connected farmers, commodity merchants and travellers to the rail lines.
Smarter railroads can create competitive advantages in the ecosystem of transportation infrastructure for rail companies. Smarter railroads can reduce the costs of adding new lines and rolling stock even as they increase customer service in a capacity constrained environment.
And by taking on more freight and passenger traffic, smarter railroads can reduce congestion and improve safety on highways -- which will also reduce carbon emissions.
Trends such as regulation, sustainability, demographics (growing traffic and aging population), economics (limited public funding and price sensitivity), mobility, and Information Technology (IT) innovations are impacting the rail industry.
As a result, every aspect of the value chain -- from passenger service to the back-end organisation -- is changing.
Mobile condition-based monitoring systems will provide railroads with more intelligence through continuous real-time capture and analysis of critical data, such as the health of rolling stock, as well as operational data, from manifest verifications to freight condition and intrusion detection. Sensors on cars will trigger messages based on decision modelling and analytics.
Autonomic routines will then distribute the information appropriately, dispatching service, ordering parts, scheduling maintenance and performing remote diagnostics.
For more information on the smart railways market, see the latest research: Smart Railways Market
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