Smarter, safer railways, powered by software engineering
Smarter, safer transportation... one line of code at a time
Have you heard about IBM’s recent international survey on “commuter pain”? It’s called the IBM Commuter Pain Index, and it ranks the emotional and economic toll of driving through commuter traffic in 20 international cities. The results are in for 2011. Residents were asked to rate their daily commuting experience according to things like commute time, time stuck in traffic, price of gas, stop and go traffic patterns, etc., and, well ... We don’t mean to pick on Mexico City, which was rated most painful in commuting terms; it’s a lovely city, yet it’s one example of a place where daily motoring is a very frustrating experience.
In Europe, the increasing use of rail for commuting and freight offers one answer to roadway congestion. As more suppliers to the rail industry seek to capitalize on the growing trend toward rail, they’re finding a dynamic and demanding marketplace. It’s clearly lucrative, but there are increasing regulations along with the top concern in everybody’s mind: safety.
One company, Invensys Rail Dimetronic, is the leading rail signaling company in Spain and Portugal, with more than 50 years of experience in applying advanced technology to integrated traffic safety and signaling. They’re using IBM Rational software for requirements management, change management, model-driven development, and much more.
Dimetronic together with its associated companies, Westinghouse Rail Systems Ltd. of UK, Invensys Rail Systems of Australia and Safetran Systems Corporation of the United States form Invensys Rail Systems Group, which is part of one of the greatest engineering groups of the world, Invensys plc.
Some Dimetronic products have been in development, and in industrial use, for twelve or more years. As requirements for these long-lived products change, IBM Rational DOORS and IBM Rational Change help Dimetronic's development and test teams manage and link the corresponding changes. The use of DOORS makes the 2,000+ requests per development lifecycle far more manageable.
The railway industry closely monitors all system software for strict adherence to its safety standards, so each requirement and all subsequent changes to the requirement must be fully accounted for in deployed code. Dimetronic adopted IBM Rational Rhapsody’s approach to model-driven development to change and harmonize the system based upon real requirements. Dimetronic developers then use Rhapsody to deploy each application by generating most of its one million lines of source code directly from the design model.
But rather than going on about Dimetronic’s use of IBM Rational products here, I encourage you to watch an exciting new video that features them, and showcases some of what’s going on in railway technology today.
We’ll have more in the coming months on this highly innovative company and how they’re using a full complement of Rational tools to manage safety and compliance issues in a changing, growing industry. Don't forget to tell us what you thought of the video by leaving a comment below.
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