CLEARSY is partnering with UIC to define safety demonstration methods for innovative systems

6 December 2022

New technologies are having an impact on mobility systems, and the world of railways. However, standards impose strict limits on technological solutions because they are still based on known and proven designs.

The usual safety assessment methods are therefore no longer fully adequate.

Safety demonstrations based on limited innovations introduced into already accepted designs (e.g. using “globally at least equivalent” GAME methods) are only relevant for some specific cases. New methods must be found to effectively assess the safety of systems using, for example, decentralised computing, artificial intelligence, sensor fusion, deep learning and intelligent sensing.

Safety must not be sacrificed in the name of innovation; otherwise dangerous innovative systems will be introduced.

The objective of the UIC’s New Methods for Safety Demonstrations (NMSD) project is to examine, qualify and select potential future methods for conducting safety demonstrations in a context of rapidly evolving technologies.

The International Union of Railways (UIC) is the world organisation for international cooperation between railways and the promotion of rail transport worldwide. Founded in 1922, it currently has more than 200 members on all five continents, including railway operators, infrastructure managers and vehicle keepers. The specific areas of activity of the UIC are:

  • Promoting railway interoperability, improving the overall coherence of the railway system, and creating new global standards for railways (including common standards with other transport modes)
  • Develop and facilitate all forms of international cooperation between its railway members, providing forums and platforms for the sharing of best practice
  • To propose new ways to improve the technical and environmental performance of rail transport, with the aim of optimising costs and contributing to environmental improvement

CLEARSY is partnering with the UIC, and its Operations & Safety department, to carry out this research work. The project started in the last quarter of 2022 and is expected to last 3 years.