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Now arriving at track 4: ICE 2030, destination The Future

New transport systems are changing travel for passengers and rail operators
Levon Altunyan
Levon Altunyan
Industry Segment Manager Transportation, HARTING Electric
New transport systems are changing travel for passengers and rail operators

In the future, sophisticated passengers will enjoy boarding this type of train, given the alluring promise of travel time that is fast, safe, efficient, barrier-free, and entertaining. But such trains are becoming more attractive to railway operators, too. In the development race against autonomous driving and other means of transport, rail concepts are needed that offer strong sales and keep operating costs low by deploying automated train operation. Where is the journey headed to? We can consult a technological forecast to find out.

All aboard

Passengers want to be informed and entertained in real time, as well as transported safely. While this sounds trivial on the surface, it is characterised by a digital evolution that is producing multimodal passenger information systems. In every subway, tram, bus, and at every stop, the decisive criterion for long-term customer loyalty - in addition to punctuality and a guaranteed seat - is larger bandwidths. Passenger Information Technology (PIT) is designed to give the passenger a digital wave of information, entertainment and fail-safe messaging communication with his or her social network.

Passengers want to be informed and entertained in real time, as well as transported safely.

Levon Altunyan, Industry Segment Manager Transportation, HARTING Electric

Next stop: Progress

Rail operators have packed their bags with numerous topics for the journey into the future. From reducing energy consumption, switching to electrified rail networks, to ensuring safe monitoring of tracks, the main thing is not to miss the connection. The goal is to optimally coordinate the entire network. In the future, the focus will be on more efficient cooperation among widely disparate systems, e.g. between traffic guidance systems featuring RFID and train monitoring systems. The magic formula is progress through "interoperability". To achieve this goal, completely new modular network and on-board components are needed.

Digital arrival

In order for new mobility products to ‘arrive’ at passengers in a positive manner, high-performance interfaces are required for a large bandwidth. HD multimedia enjoyment can be reliably achieved with Cat. 7A cable harnesses. However, in order to satisfy passengers’ wishes, communication links between train cars must also be prepared. Unmanaged switches and Patchcables provide railway operators with the necessary flexibility in terms of data exchange.

Position detection and state detection via RFID and MICA®

HARTING not only supports flexible data exchange on the train with unmanaged switches and patch cables. In a chain comprised of sensors, antennas, RFID readers and MICA® – the latter serves as an Edge computer for filtering, aggregating and compressing the sensor data – ambient data can be recorded wirelessly in the periphery and digitally processed for control purposes. The MICA platform translates the sensor data from the RFID reader and makes it available to other participants in the bus system in filtered form and reduced to the required extent.

Retrofit 1st class

The HARTING MICA®, a modular computer unit, enables railway operators to record and analyse communication content, as well as process it and make it available to a central location. With the MICA®, new systems and functionalities can be integrated extremely quickly into the train's existing "legacy" infrastructures: a retrofit with first-class comfort.


  • MICA® enables data exchange between old and new train infrastructure
  • Real-time travel information increases passenger satisfaction, e.g. in the event of disruptions


For future decision-makers of the digitisation of rail operations

  • Optimisable route networks via "connected" systems, e.g. real-time traffic control and train monitoring systems
  • Modern Passenger Information Technology (PIT) for bus, tram, train stations and stops
  • Efficient, sustainable vehicles thanks to lightweight materials
  • Environmentally friendly train infrastructure
  • Predictive maintenance via sensory condition monitoring of tracks



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