Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

London Underground aims for 30% operational efficiency boost with IoT: Cisco

Iain Morris
August 20, 2014

The UK’s London Underground transport system has been investing in Internet of Things (IoT) technology with the aim of improving operational efficiency by as much as 30% over the next three years, according to a report published by Cisco.

Working with technology services company Telent (Warwick, UK), the organization has been installing sensors in escalators, elevators, air conditioning systems and subway tunnels to streamline its operations, improving asset management and maintenance.

Relying on those M2M systems, London Underground has been able to monitor assets remotely instead of dispatching technicians to check whether equipment is functioning properly.

It also now started collaborating with IT services business CGI (Montreal, Canada), according to the Cisco report, which has been moving the M2M technologies deployed by London Underground into the cloud.

As a result, the overall system has become more sophisticated, allowing London Underground to use real-time data to monitor temperature, vibration, humidity, fault warnings and system alerts.

Telent has reportedly said that by lowering maintenance costs and improving efficiency London Underground has already been able to provide a better transport service to customers.

“One of the benefits of cheaper maintenance is much better availability,” Steve Pears, the managing director of Telent, is quoted as saying. “So if you’re a member of the traveling public, there’s a greater chance of being able to look on your smartphone and see that your train is running to time.”

CGI reckons the use of cloud technology could support other transport and logistics companies faced with regulatory and competitive challenges and looking to improve operational efficiency.

“This has a huge amount of value in transport in general,” said John Hicklin, a consultant with CGI, according to the Cisco story. “We’re on this journey to open up the dream of serving thousands of devices instead of a few hundred.”
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