Innovation in rail is key in enabling us to grow our offering for our customers through enhancing existing products, systems and solutions, whilst also harnessing global market trends.
As a business, we are investing in innovative rail so that we can provide solutions for the megatrends effecting the mobility sector, including sustainability, autonomous vehicles, digitalisation, urbanisation and customer experience - all with a focus to enhance customer satisfaction and increase passenger experience.
Global market trends are also demanding the use of disruptive technologies and we are seeing the introduction of new business models across the mobility sector. For this reason, we are investing in new digital and data capabilities; embedding these across our organisation, allowing us to continue our pioneering status, improve operational efficiency, and maintain our customer and partners’ trust through offering products of exceptional quality.
Additionally, we are developing the next generation of digital innovation products and services, through taking advantage of the Hitachi Lumada IoT platform, increasing our collaboration with existing Hitachi ventures and harnessing the full power of the Hitachi brand. This allows us to test and innovate solutions at an accelerator speed, to bring new concepts to market without delay.
Read more about our innovative solutions and how we’re trying to build a better future in mobility.
Our Innovation Pillars
In response to the megatrends of the mobility sector, Hitachi Rail are designing and developing products based on five Strategic Pillars:
Sustainability is at the heart of Hitachi Rail. Currently, railway signalling and automation solutions need a lot of physical technology to operate. This activity does not only refer to the hardware, operation and maintenance of the technical equipment but to the entire infrastructure necessary to power and connect it. Hitachi Rail is working on removing and simplifying field-based and on-board technology to optimise railway operation. This reduces physical assets, operation and maintenance costs and allows us to use software to achieve data driven outcomes.
Hitachi Rail is the pioneer of autonomous train technology. Working in partnership with Rio Tinto, we have delivered an autonomous freight train contract in Australia. Keeping its pioneer title, we are working to have a fully automatic operated train running on open railway networks by 2025; an example of us continuing to enhance our freight solution.
Hitachi Rail is investing in digitalisation - connecting its products, systems and solutions using Lumada, IoT sensors and disruptive technologies. This will optimise maintenance procedures, including automated maintenance to reduce the need for on-site intervention, both in order to provide the highest levels of operational efficiency and availability, whilst reducing overall maintenance costs.
All of this is used to optimise our operation and maintenance services to create the most effective product.
Urbanisation is becoming a challenge in the large cities we operate in and the megacities trend will continue to grow. Through the analysis of customer experience, we are studying and designing Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions to support the expansion of the passenger experience market, again taking advantage of Hitachi group capabilities.
Integrating digital technologies into business operations is the best mean for Hitachi Rail to both operate and deliver optimal results to customers. Hitachi Rail aims to digitalize all its plants gradually, consisting in setting-up new digital work centers.
The connection of all digital assets to Hitachi Lumada Manufacturing Insight solutions is allowing Hitachi rail to increase the efficiency and speed up the Rolling Stock manufacturing, with digital instruments that for example allow to gather machine telemetry for visualization in dashboards and predict the quality and the failure issues on the digital assets.
Hinnova: Connecting the future of mobility through creative thinking and Innovation
Innovation is a key part of our business strategy and to leverage the talent and skills of our colleagues internally we have launched Hinnova - the new digital, collaborative innovation tool for crowdsourcing ideas from our Hitachi Rail colleagues.
Hinnova allows our employees to submit ideas to a network of Technical Ambassadors who have been selected and upskilled to evaluate which ideas qualify to go to the next stage. Finally, our Technical Committee choose the successful ideas and those ‘winners’ get to see their ideas developed into prototypes alongside our Digital Innovation team.
This programme is an exciting way to foster a culture of innovation throughout our business and drive growth in terms of skills and competences, as we learn from our teams first-hand experience and knowledge of the future needs of our customers and society.
We are proud of the work we are doing to engage and collaborate with our employees to be part of the change.