Aiming to reduce the possibilities of signals failing, Indian Railways has undertaken remote condition monitoring of the system, a new approach for the national transporter, to predict failures through the effective use of Artificial Intelligence.
The Signalling system is vital for safe train operations and the railways completely depend on the health of its signalling assets along with real-time information.
Currently, the railways follow a manual maintenance system and adopt find-and-fix methods rather than predict-and-prevent approach.
“Now, we are introducing remote condition monitoring using non-intrusive sensors for continuous online monitoring of signals, track circuits, axle counters and their sub-systems of interlocking, power supply systems including the voltage and current levels, relays, timers,” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project.
The system entails the collection of inputs on a pre-determined interval and sending this to a central location.
As a result, any flaws or problems in the signalling system would be detected on a real-time basis and rectified to avoid possible delays and mishaps.
The failure of signals is one of the major reasons for train accidents and delays.
Currently, remote monitoring of signalling is operational in Britain.
The system envisages data transfer through a wireless medium (3G, 4G and high-speed mobile) and data based on these inputs will be utilised, with help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), for predictive and prescriptive Big Data analytics.
This will enable prediction of signalling asset failures, automated self-correction and informed decisions on intervention strategies, said the official.
The railways have decided that trial is taken up in two sections of Western Railway and South Western Railway at Ahmedabad-Vadodara and Bengaluru-Mysuru.
Depending on the feedback, the system would gradually be extended to other sections. (IANS)
New Delhi, November 10, 2017 : Unfazed by opposition criticism, Indian Railways is working overtime to push ahead with the much-talked about the “Bullet Train” project, aiming to complete it ahead of the August 2022 deadline set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, who has a reputation of a turnaround man, has taken up the task of monitoring and chairing the periodic review meetings of the project that is estimated to cost over Rs 1 lakh crore ($15 billion).
Lohani held a high-level meeting in Rail Bhavan last Thursday which was attended by Japanese Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu, Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Central government officials, Principal Secretary-rank officials of Gujarat and Maharashtra, officials of NHSRCL (National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited), officials of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the General Manager of Western Railway.
A senior railway board member, requesting anonymity, told IANS, “The railways is in no mood to delay the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. Lohani will now hold a review meeting once every three months… And even on weekly basis, if required.”
Emphasising on the government’s intention, the official said, “The attendance of the Niti Aayog Vice Chairman, the Japanese Ambassador and the CRB in the review meeting is a clear signal that the government is taking the project seriously and there is no scope for any delay.”
“The CRB wants Indian Railway officials to take lessons from their Japanese counterparts about meeting deadlines,” he said.
The opposition has attacked the government for taking up a project at a huge cost instead of focusing on safety, a dire need of the time, and on schemes to improve passenger amenities.
The official said it was also decided at the meeting that “a road map for consultancy and civil engineering works will be prepared by January 2018”.
A ministry official associated with the Bullet Train project said a report on the signalling system and electrical reports would be ready by April 2018. According to him, the tracks and most of the signalling system would be brought from Japan.
The foundation stone for the Rs 1.08 lakh crore ($17 billion) 508-km Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train was laid in Ahmedabad by Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe on September 14.
Of the Rs 1.08 lakh crore, Japan is giving a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at a minimal interest of 0.1 per cent for 50 years. And the repayment will begin only after 15 years.
The railway official said that to encourage the Prime Minister’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme, “an appeal will be made to Indian and Japanese companies to make use the opportunity to work together”.
Meanwhile, the officials of the government of Maharashtra and Gujarat assured the railways of their help in land acquisition and smooth shifting of raw materials to construction venues.
A three-level monitoring committee was also constituted, including the Vice Chairman of Niti Ayog and Special Advisor to Japanese Prime Minister.
A working group led by Managing Director of NHSRCL Achal Khare and consisting of representatives of the ministries concerned, and the representative of JICA, has been formed. Besides the two committees, a technical expert committee led by the Managing Director of NHSRCL has also been formed.
Of the 508 km stretch, 92 per cent (468 km) of the route will be elevated, six per cent (27 km) will be in tunnels and the remaining two per cent (13 km) will be on the ground .
The high-speed train would also pass through the country’s longest tunnel of 21 km, of which seven km will be under the sea.
Twelve stations have been proposed that include Mumbai, Thane, Virar, Boisar, Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.
The distance will be covered in two hours and seven minutes if the train stops at four stations — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Mumbai. If the train stops at all 12 stations, it will cover the distance in two hours and fifty-eight minutes.
According to Railway Ministry officials, the operating speed of the bullet train would be 320 kmph and the maximum speed would be 350 kmph.
(Editorial note : This article has been written by Anand K. Singh and was first published by IANS. Anand can be contacted at can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”
Lisbon, November 7, 2017 : Technology can hopefully reverse some of the harm caused to the planet by industrialization and help end disease and poverty, but artificial intelligence (AI) needs to be controlled, physicist Stephen Hawking said on Monday.
Hawking, a British cosmologist who was diagnosed with motor neuron disease aged 21, said technology could transform every aspect of life but cautioned that artificial intelligence poses new challenges.
He said artificial intelligence and robots are already threatening millions of jobs — but this new revolution could be used to help society and for the good of the world such as alleviating poverty and disease.
“The rise of AI could be the worst or the best thing that has happened for humanity,” Stephen Hawking said via telepresence at opening night of the 2017 Web Summit in Lisbon that is attended by about 60,000 people.
“We simply need to be aware of the dangers, identify them, employ the best possible practice and management and prepare for its consequences well in advance.”
Hawking’s comments come during an escalating debate about the pro and cons of artificial intelligence, a term used to describe machines with a computer code that learns as it goes.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Elon Musk, who is chief executive of electric car maker Tesla Inc and rocket company SpaceX, has warned that AI is a threat to humankind’s existence.
But Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a rare interview recently, told the WSJ Magazine that there was nothing to panic about.
Stephen Hawking said everyone has a role to play in making sure that this generation and the next are fully engaged with the study of science at an early level to create “a better world for the whole human race.”
“We need to take learning beyond a theoretical discussion of how AI should be, and take action to make sure we plan for how it can be,” said Stephen Hawking, who communicates via a cheek muscle linked to a sensor and computerized voice system.
“You all have the potential to push the boundaries of what is accepted, or expected, and to think big. We stand on the threshold of a brave new world. It is an exciting — if precarious — place to be and you are the pioneers,” he said. (VOA)
London, Nov 3: Earth is becoming too small and humanity is bound to self-destruct, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) replacing us as the dominant being on the planet, according to scientist Stephen Hawking.
Professor Hawking says that our time on Earth is numbered after we passed the point of “no return”.
The theoretical physicist says that developments in AI have been so great that the machines will one day be more dominant than human beings, express.co.uk reported.
He told Wired Magazine: “I fear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) may replace humans altogether. If people design computer viruses, someone will design AI that improves and replicates itself.
“This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans.”
Hawking, 75, said that humans need to leave Earth if we are to continue as a species.
He said a new space programme should be humanity’s top priority “with a view to eventually colonising suitable planets for human habitation”.
This will allow us to leave Earth and colonise another planet to ensure our survival, otherwise there will be “serious consequences”.
Professor Hawking added: “I believe we have reached the point of no return. Our earth is becoming too small for us, global population is increasing at an alarming rate and we are in danger of self-destructing.”
Last year, at the opening of Cambridge University’s artificial intelligence centre, Professor Hawking said that AI could either be the best or worst invention humanity has ever made.
“This will be a new form of life that outperforms humans.”
“The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge. We cannot predict what we might achieve, when our own minds are amplified by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one – industrialisation.
“And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. Every aspect of our lives will be transformed, In short, success in creating AI, could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.
“But it could also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks. Alongside the benefits, AI will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many.” (IANS)