Lex van der Poel
Director at Dual Inventive
Manager developing new business, especially in IoT & Big Data at T-Mobile Austria
Internet of Things Integrates with Legacy Rail Systems; “Smart or Unwise”
The world is changing rapidly. Just 7 years ago, the first iPad was launched, and yet now, in 2017, we can’t even leave the house without a smart device in our pockets. IT departments are being forced to adopt an OT approach, simple and available 24/7. As technology continues to evolve, with innovations such as IoT (Internet of Things), more of these OT devices are becoming ‘smart’ and becoming connected. This means that OT and IT departments, who have different focuses, are attempting to merge. Whilst this aims to make life easier, it increases vulnerability, since few legacy railway systems were designed to connect to the internet.
To successfully integrate IoT technologies into the railway, the current product lifecycle (30 years) needs to be redefined. Current safety norms (SIL) are insufficient, not taking into account any cyber-security. Whereas product safety is generally regarded as a snapshot in time, security is an ever-changing landscape, requiring constant management and attention. This management cycle must become part of the qualification programme as part of the product certificate.
At this moment, across the world, the railway industry is implementing IoT POCs such as the use of remote temperature monitoring and vibration sensors to enable greater insight of their infrastructure and change future contract conditions. In the not very distant future, these POCs will be translated into real product requirements, “fit for rail purpose” devices which meet cyber-security expectations.
How to manage these expectations, how to integrate these IoT devices, how to secure the architecture and data, how to implement in a durable way and finally, how to become “smart”.
Lex van der Poel is CEO and co-founder of Dual Inventive and has been involved in the rail sector since 2004. During this time he has designed and supplied innovative new technologies to improve track worker safety and railway efficiency.
Lex believes in the Internet of Things and its application within the railway industry and therefore has spent years developing the MTinfo 3000 cloud platform. He also holds a seat on the approval body for railAlert which deals in the field of certification of workforce safety products.
As well as this, he is an advisor to CEN, the European Committee for Standardisation, on the development of standards in railway applications.
The biography of Matthias Fiegl will follow shortly.