The future of urban transportation is in electric mobility
Posted: 24 February 2011 | Siemens AG | No comments yet
Nowadays safe, efficient public transportation is more than ever a crucial factor when it comes to the quality of life…
Nowadays safe, efficient public transportation is more than ever a crucial factor when it comes to the quality of life and competitiveness of many of the world’s cities and regions. Sustainable, optimally integrated mobility is one of the key issues of the 21st Century. Hans-Jörg Grundmann, CEO of the Siemens Mobility Division, said, “Efficient urban transportation and traffic management systems are the keys to overcoming the great challenges of our day, for example reducing greenhouse gases and traffic congestion. Electrically powered means of transportation, such as metros, tramway systems and buses, reduce energy consumption and conserve the environment. Siemens is therefore convinced that future urban transportation will largely be dominated by electric mobility.” Against this backdrop, Siemens Mobility will be presenting new products and solutions for urban mass transit at the UITP World Congress and Exhibition to be held in Dubai from April 10 to 13, 2011. This year, the international exhibition’s slogan is “Boosting public transport: Action”. However, the Siemens Mobility Division is involved in a lot more than just rail-based transportation. It will also unveil products for individual traffic. With its “Complete mobility” approach, Siemens is aiming for the sensible networking of various transportation modes in order to ensure the efficient and environmentally compatible transport of people and goods.
Increasing urbanization and the resultant rise in the volume of traffic in cities, on the one hand, and the ever greater need to protect the climate, on the other, will fuel the demand for more and more eco-friendly mobility solutions in the coming years. A study by business consultants Booz Allen Hamilton concluded that the world’s major cities will be investing more than five trillion euros in their road and rail infrastructures by the year 2035. UNIFE, the Association of the European Rail Industry, forecasts that the world market for metro vehicles will grow from its present volume of around five billion euros by four percent per annum until 2016. A growth boom is also forecast for the Gulf Region. The accessible market in Africa and the Middle East is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 4.5 percent by 2016. “Those are very good conditions for us as the world’s leading supplier of integrated transportation and logistics solutions. We want to secure part of this growth, among other things with our new Inspiro metro platform,” said Grundmann. Siemens is the only company in the world that offers an integrated transportation concept. It includes complete turnkey rail projects, operations control systems for railways and traffic control systems for roadways, traction power supplies, and rolling stock for mass transit, regional and mainline services. Our portfolio also covers airport logistics and postal automation. All in all, Siemens Mobility has a powerful and unique selling position.
Siemens presents a mockup of the brand-new Inspiro
The highlight of the Siemens presentation at the exhibition in Dubai will be Inspiro, the brand-new mass transit train. A mockup of this new Siemens metro will be on show there. In the development phase, utmost priority was placed on the environmental compatibility of the train. The lightweight aluminum car body, the new demand-responsive control of the HVAC system and the weight-optimized bogies all contribute to a reduction in power consumption. The optional use of driver assistance systems and the possibility of driverless operation also ensure high energy efficiency.
The modular self-contained train concept enables any configuration to be formed with three to eight cars and with variable degrees of motorization. Maximized door widths and load detection systems will enable passengers to board and exit much faster, thus shortening dwell times at stations. In addition, the new interior layout affords more space for passengers, with larger standing areas in the intercar gangways. The modern, futuristic design of the Inspiro was created by the renowned design agency BMW Designworks.
The vehicles meet the new European fire protection and crash requirements of CEN/TS 45545 and prEN 15227 and have a recycling rate of over 95 percent. Another advantage is the extensive use of standardized, service-proven components with low failure rates and, last but not least, the lower maintenance and repair costs of the entire train.
Siemens Mobility won its first order for the new Inspiro generation in Poland. The Warsaw Metro ordered a total of 35 six-car trains in February 2011 for its 23-kilometer metro network. The order covers the delivery, commissioning, testing and certification of the vehicles. Delivery is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2012.
The Avenio Configurator
Also on display at UITP 2011 will be the Avenio Configurator, the new tramway concept from Siemens Mobility Division. The configurator enables trams to be assembled from two to eight car sections with an overall length of between 18 and 72 meters to match the capacity requirements of every application. The virtual on-screen tour shows views of the customized interior design and the seating capacity. Avenio is based on further developments of the Combino trams that are running in Budapest, Hungary and in Lisbon/Almada, Portugal. The car body is of a new, lightweight steel construction and requires fewer parts than the predecessor models. This cuts not only the weight but also the manufacturing cost of each vehicle. The vehicle and bogie design reduces the forces exerted on both straight and curved track, which increases passenger comfort while also reducing wear on wheel and rail. The interior layout has also been improved to offer more seats. On account of its self-contained train concept, Avenio is not only the world’s longest and most spacious 100 percent low-floor tramcar but also the quietest. In the case of the Combino for Budapest, the noise emission had already been reduced to 65 decibels, which is 15 percent quieter than the vehicles previously operated on that line.
All-electric buses for eco-friendly urban transportation
Complete Mobility stands for networking, integration and multimodality, above all with the aim of improving efficiency – not only in terms of higher productivity and performance but also in respect of better energy efficiency. The target of more sustainable mobility cannot be achieved without substantial improvements. Innovative systems for increasing energy efficiency are therefore given a prominent position at the Siemens stand. That also includes the all-electric omnibus concept that Siemens is showing for the first time at a UITP Exhibition.
The Electric Bus Rapid Transit system – or “e-BRT” for short – is an innovative, eco-friendly transportation solution offering a high degree of user-friendliness. Still under development, this system will be able to operate without overhead contact lines and integrate high-power storage units featuring intelligent charging, energy recovery and management technology. Each bus will therefore be equipped with an especially efficient energy storage unit. At each stop, the “e-BRT” vehicle recharges itself with the power it needs to get to the next stop. This is made possible by a charging time of just 20 seconds. That is less time than passengers usually need to get on and off the bus. Unlike conventional buses, the braking energy created by this bus is converted into electrical energy by the traction motors and also stored in the high-power storage units.
The “e-BRT” is designed as a zero emission system. Its energy utilization is about twice as high as that of thermal or hybrid solutions. The Siemens solution also includes a separate, fully equipped maintenance depot and bus stops complete with charging stations. These stations have an intelligent energy management system that steers the electric buses as they approach the stops. This ensures not only precise contact with the charging system but also easy access for the passengers at a low-floor level.
Railway control systems of the future
Ever more information is becoming available for the control and optimization of the various modes of transportation. It is crucially important to be able to record, evaluate and process this information quickly. Development work at Siemens has therefore focused on making this flood of information manageable. “Operations Control Interaction Lab”, the Siemens vision of railway control systems of the future, was presented to the public for the first time at InnoTrans 2010. For the UITP Exhibition, this study will now be augmented by more future ideas on how mobility between different modes can be achieved without delays.
Efficient working processes and ergonomic work stations will make the coming generation of control centers an important value-adding factor. In addition to the work station layout, a practical balance has to be found between functional, ergonomic and economic aspects. The design study presented for efficiently processing a wide range of information will revolutionize work routines. A large multi-touch screen opens up new possibilities of interaction and makes operator actions understandable. Fingertip touches facilitate the planning and control of train fleet deployments, the monitoring of journey times, trains and infrastructure, the avoidance of bottlenecks, the planning of unscheduled train movements, and the organization of diversions. The everyday tasks of the control center are optimized by the interaction of functionalities and roles, the response times are shortened, and the coordination processes are made more precise. Uniform visualization and a system-wide interaction concept enable intuitive operation and help the user to control traffic flows efficiently.
Mobility solutions for intermodal transportation
Intermodal solutions for cities will be presented with the aid of the interactive simulation “Innovative urban transport”. The smooth interaction between public transportation and private motor vehicle use in a city can be experienced on a multi-touch table. This system can demonstrate a complete traffic control system of the future.