The state-owned rail companies of France and Germany, SNCF and Deutsche Bahn (DB), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see them work together to support the development of new digital technology.
The deal, agreed at the InnoTrans trade fair for transport technology in Berlin, will see the two companies pool their skills and knowledge to bring more up-to-date services to their passengers.
Among their goals will be to identify what requirements digital data transmission in rail transport will need to meet in the future, so that rail companies can work with the telecommunications industry to improve connectivity for customers and employees.
Chief executive of DB Dr Rüdiger Grube said that digital technologies offer major opportunities for transport providers, so it makes sense to share ideas and methods between the two companies. He added this should lead to direct benefits for customers.
SNCF president Guillaume Pepy stated that with the digital revolution now underway, and in light of the operational and customer challenges facing the industry, it is important for operators to be as strong as possible.
He said: “This is the purpose of our new cooperation agreement with Deutsche Bahn, on aspects ranging from the way we cooperate with startups to Industrial Internet solutions and further on to onboard connectivity. Working together will not only serve the interests of SNCF’s and DB’s customers, but also those of the mobility community at large.”
DB noted that the companies have already gained some insight into what it means to work together with startups. The next step will be to learn from each other about how to deal with these new forms of collaboration.
The partners plan to foster innovation through initiatives such as creating joint-event formats and agreeing on topics and challenges to be solved by the tech scene accordingly