Skip to Content

Multimodal transportation needs a new generation of Operations Control CentrE

Aug 29, 2023

New tech means new possibilities for transportation networks, their operators and users. But not without a new generation of OCC (Operations Control Centre). How can we get there?

The next-generation Operations Control Centre (OCC) for transportation networks will feature a modular architecture for continuous service, quality and safety.

For forty years, Operations Control Centres (OCC) have acted as virtual conductors for public transportation networks, overseeing the operations of trains, subways, buses, and trams, all largely unnoticed by the general public. It is responsible for regulating these transit lines, signaling, ensuring safety, and maintaining efficient power supply.

But this pivotal centre of transport management is now undergoing a transformation. Over the past 15 years, advancements in connectivity (3G, LTE, 5G, etc.) have enabled real-time data access. By applying new analytics and artificial intelligence technologies to this data, the OCC is able to adopt new digital capabilities to improve passenger safety, smooth traffic flow, reduce energy consumption, and enhance the user experience.

From a monolithic approach to an ecosystem vision

With increased competition among operators, and growing user demands for real-time information on smartphones about arrivals and issues, a monolithic OCC is no longer good enough.

It must instead become more intelligent and flexible, allowing it to manage multiple modes of transportation, such as subways, commuter trains, buses, and trams, as part of a single cohesive system – built around the entire user journey, rather than the individual transport mode.

To succeed, it must connect different stakeholders in the transportation chain, including technology platforms, energy providers, signaling operators, manufacturers, maintenance, etc. This multi-party, systemic approach is critical to establishing an ecosystem that delivers the best travel experience to passengers.

A tech-driven future for managing multi-modal transport

A future multimodal transport system will have data collection at every point, giving operators a detailed view of the entire network, and allowing AI and automation tools to make real-time improvements.

Sensors on every train, bus and tram can give a detailed view of the service, and information for passengers via apps and signs. Cameras at stations can monitor crowd flows, detect incidents, and spot passengers with particular needs. Automated systems can then make adjustments in real time – regulating services, pointing people to different station exits, or sending human help.

Over time this system can also learn about inefficient operator actions, or signs of mechanical failure, and provide recommendations or schedule maintenance to reduce incidents and downtime.

Business, technology, and innovation: The three pillars of the operations control centre 2.0

This new OCC requires technologies (including hardware, software, data, connectivity, cloud, etc.) and coordinated expertise in deploying them across multiple organisational functions. Capgemini supports these transformations in three ways: by understanding business needs, translating them into technological solutions, and continuously improving them.

To better understand business needs, we monitor rolling stock, critical infrastructure, passenger information, and human resources, to gather data and understand inefficiencies, risks, costs and so on.

We then propose technological solutions to address these needs. This involves combining data, such as infrastructure and rolling stock status, with external data sources like weather and events, to make predictions about the infrastructure, and propose solutions to improve operations, safety and costs.

Finally, continuously improving the new OCC involves using it to gather and disseminate relevant data, and monitoring and improving efficiency and transparency as it evolves.

Ultimately this means an improved, safer and more efficient experience for travelers, which is also more cost-effective for operators.

Meet the authors

Farès Goucha

Director Rail Industry, Capgemini Invent
Ground transportation industry leader with over 18 years of experience. Fares Goucha has substantial experience in the direction and management of rail and metro companies. Recently, he has been involved in defining the functional framework for the opening up of rail competition in France. He currently heads Capgemini Invent’s rail activities, where he helps companies in the sector to transform and adapt their organisations.

    Christophe Godoy

    Lead Manufacturing & Process Engineer, Capgemini Engineering
    Working for more than fifteen years in the railway sector. I was an integrator, system designer, railway expert and project manager. Today, I am lead manufacturing and Process Engineer. I bring my expertise on pre-sales and on the expertise of ongoing projects.

      Matthieu Deboeuf Rouchon

      Innovation Manager France, Capgemini Engineering
      Over 12 years’ experience in the digital sector in a consultancy role, helping major accounts to innovate and accelerate their transformation.