Improvement of Railway Transportation System Using IoT Applications and Services

Improvement of Railway Transportation System Using IoT Applications and Services

Sudesh Kumar (Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, India) and Ram Shringar Raw (Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5222-2.ch008


In this chapter, the authors have introduced the use of Internet of Things (IoT) applications and services in Indian Railway Transportation System (IRTS). Railway transportation infrastructure is one of the most important factors for the development of any country. India is a developing country and we have a vision to transform India into a developed nation by 2020 using different technologies and tools. Therefore, we need to adopt smart and secure technology for advancement in each area especially in railway transportation for growth and betterment of the country. Further, authors has introduced Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network (VANET) concept for automatic railway gate controlling system to reduce number of accidents over railway premises and enhance the system components for the Indian railway transportation system to provide the comfort, security, safety and infotainment services to the passengers.
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1. Introduction

By railway statics 2014 Synopsis, railway transported 8.397 billion passengers and over 106 million tonnes of freight annually. Most probably, passenger rail traffic globally is expected to double by 2020, posing a challenge for train operators and commuters’ alike. As tens of thousands of sensors have been already deployed along with rail roadsides, rail tracks, and on trains in many countries, but in India it’s not implemented up to the mark. Everyone has a story about how a broken down train ruined their day. But with recent advancements in maintenance, improving the reliability because of IoT applications, trains themselves has become smart device with sensor nodes on critical parts such as brakes, wheels and engines. Tracks are also benefitted from IoT where some train networks have thousands of sensor nodes deployed across their systems, measuring track stress and condition, air and track temperatures, and other variables that have predictive value to maintenance teams.

In recent year the Internet of Things (IoT) is receiving much research attention and effort from industry and academia worldwide. It is provided the back born to the modern society. The IoT is the inter networking of physical devices, vehicles or nodes (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

The Internet of Things term is introduced by Kevin Ashton executive director of the Auto-ID Centre Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The IoT is a computing concept that describes the idea of everyday physical objects being connected to the internet and being able to identify themselves to other devices and share the information and date. The term is closely identified with RFID (Radio-frequency identification uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects) as the method of communication, although it also may include other advanced sensor technologies, wireless technologies or QR (Quick Response) codes (Ashton, K. 2009). In the five-year span between 2015 and 2020, IoT will grow faster than any other category of connected devices, according to a new Cisco report, (Figure 1) the number of machine-to-machine (M2M) connections should grow nearly 2.5-fold, from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 12.2 billion in 2020 (Cisco, VNI. 2017).

Figure 1.

Global M2M Connections / IoT growth by vertical

Source: Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2015–2020

In short, the IoT refers to the rapidly growing network of connected objects that are able to collect and exchange data using embedded sensors. In IoT environment, an entity uses a remote like smart phone, Tablet, smart watch or device etc. to send a command, or a request for information over a network to an IoT device. Then the device performs the command and sends information back over the network to be analysed and displayed on the remote. There are multiple locations in which the data generated by the IoT device can be analyse and stored, including the cloud, a local data base, on the remote, or locally, on the IoT device itself (Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Basic Working environment of IoT devices

IoT devices is going beyond laptops and smart phones; it is going towards connected smart home, cars, connected wearable, smart industries, agriculture, smart cities, transportation and connected health care. According to the Gartner report, by 2020 connected devices across all technologies will reach to 20.6 billion. These devices will bridge the gap between physical and digital world to improve the quality, value and effective productivity of life and society. Because of actively growing field, below authors will discuss some popular applications of IoTs which show how it will transform our lives.

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