London Underground researching control systems for Deep Tube Programme

London Underground researching control systems for Deep Tube Programme

Controversy in unions over whether London Underground moving towards driverless trains

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London Underground is preparing to tender for a variety of new control systems as part of its Deep Tube Programme (DTP).

London Underground is planning the upgrade of the Bakerloo, Piccadilly, Waterloo & City, and Central Lines (and possibly other lines), as part of the DTP - which first came to light at the end of 2011 with a similar non-cash tender notice covering communication systems.

The November 2011 DTP notice caused controversy at the time as it was suggested that London Underground was moving towards driverless trains on its network, similar to those on the Docklands Light Railway. Unions claimed such a move would be against health and safety.

The DTP upgrade relates to the whole railway system, including new rolling stock, new signalling, railway control systems, platform train interface (PTI) systems and infrastructure upgrades.

One new "tender" notice is seeking advice from potential suppliers in relation to asset performance management, or condition monitoring technologies, products or systems.

Such technologies will be able to collate measurements from diverse sources to determine performance, and be able to distribute this information. The systems will also be able to provide data that can predict and detect operational faults, London Underground said.

None of the technology London Underground is seeking information on is expected to be operational on the Underground network until 2020 at the earliest, the company said.

In another similar information tender notice covering the DTP, London Underground says it will be "necessary to allow humans to interact with multiple complex systems in a consistent and seamless manner" via an integrated command and control environment.

London Underground wants to know about technologies, systems or products that provide the ability to "integrate data and interfaces from multiple, diverse systems into a single, coherent command and control environment".

It wants to know about solutions that combine outputs from multiple sources to create "intelligent and coherent reporting", and provide the ability to securely "interact with the environment in central command centres, remote locations and via handheld or personal devices".

These systems must be able to integrate with business rules management systems and command and control systems.

Again, none of these technologies are expected to be operational on the London Underground until 2020 at the earliest, and London Underground has not put estimated tender cash values on either notice.

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