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ODVA Announces Formation of Vertical Market Special Interest Group for Rail Transport

ODVA announced that it will form a new special interest group to evolve ODVA technologies for rail transport. Aimed at enhancing ODVA’s specifications with services and device profiles to meet the needs of rail transport, the resulting standards are expected to provide a comprehensive solution for rail transport, encompassing on-board train controls, monitoring, signaling and demand-response. The formation of this special interest group (SIG) reflects increased interest in ODVA technologies by OEMs in the rail transport industry.

The strong business outlook for rail transport is driving increased investment by OEMs in information and communication technologies (ICT) such as the ODVA technology portfolio. ICT will be critical to the realization of improvements in safety and service in combination with market demands for increased rail capacity and higher performance equipment. The intimate connection of rail transport with key sectors of the economic ecosystem – industrial, retail, commercial, residential and government – mandates that future ICT implementations in rail transport adapt automation technologies that are open, interoperable and, whenever possible, embrace the use of commercial-off-the-shelf and standard, unmodified Internet and Ethernet technologies. All of these attributes are exemplified by ODVA and its cornerstone technologies, the Common Industrial Protocol and EtherNet/IP.

Pascal Cléré, vice president, Alstom Transport Information Solutions, and ODVA member, stated, “Broad-based deployment of Ethernet technologies is a key element of the product plans for Alstom’s Carborne range of systems, devices and services for the railway sector. Alstom is leading the market in the application of Ethernet for rail transport and was first to market in 2008 with an ATC control/command application in Beijing.

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Now Alstom seeks to lead in the application of open Ethernet standards to this sector and believes that ODVA – with its core values of vendor-neutrality, open participation and open technologies – and EtherNet/IP – as the world’s leading industrial Ethernet network – together provide the ideal platform for building consensus within the railway transport industry around its next generation of global network standards based on Ethernet.”

“This is a new market sector for ODVA technologies, which ODVA is entering due to the interest of members,” added Katherine Voss, executive director of ODVA. “As one of ODVA’s vertical market SIGs, the Rail Transport SIG will provide a unique opportunity for leaders in the rail industry and information technology to collaborate for best-in-class, open and interoperable communication standards for the next generation in railway transport.”

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Photo (from left to right): Sven Staiger, Index-Werke, Esslingen, Nika Nowizki, Institut für Maschinenelemente (IMA), University Stuttgart, Dr. Alexander Broos, Head of Research and Technology, Source: Rainer Jensen

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