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RTI specifies a Safe Computing Platform for future rail operations with European railway operators and industry

With digitalisation, many new technologies will enter the railway system that place high safety requirements on IT environments. As part of the sector initiative, Real-Time Innovations (RTI), the largest software framework company for autonomous systems, has collaborated with a group of European rail operators and industry companies to move this initiative forward.

Beautiful view with modern commuter train on the railway station and colorful sky with clouds at sunset in Europe. Industrial landscape with blue train on railway platform

With the introduction of enhanced Control Command and Signalling (CCS) approaches, and novel technologies such as advanced sensing and artificial intelligence into the rail system, it is necessary to design the appropriate IT platforms for future rail operation. In this context, the railway initiatives Reference CCS Architecture (RCA) and Open CCS Onboard Reference Architecture (OCORA) started working on a Safe Computing Platform concept in 2020, which is expected to provide the basis for safety-relevant railway applications for both onboard and trackside deployments. A key design paradigm is the introduction of a standardised method for separating applications from the computing platform. This decouples domains with very distinct lifecycles and leverages latest advances in the IT sector, while still leaving room for vendor differentiation on the detailed computing platform implementation.

To take this work to the next stage, the railways and industry players including RTI, DB Netz AG, duagon AG, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, SBB, Siemens Mobility GmbH, SNCF Voyageurs, SNCF RĂ©seau, SYSGO GmbH, Thales and Wind River have jointly developed a first version of the specification of the possible API between railway applications and the Safe Computing Platform, and published this in OCORA Release 2.