MTR spends an annual £1bn managing the Stockholm rapid transit system. They implemented an immersive solution to help reduce rising overheads and make routine processes more commercially viable as well as to improve system-wide management.
The project began by capturing the metro transit environment. Underground stations, depots and tunnels were recorded with 360° video capture and more advanced sensors and devices such as LiDAR (light detection and ranging). While 360° videos capture the spherical immersive space, LiDAR precisely measures distance and volume. All the data was fused together and digitally mapped to create a digitised twin: a visualisation of the transit network, opening-up a wealth of remotely accessible data.
Once completed, MTR was able to access the twin via an immersive platform to plan and prepare for major depot remodelling works. The staff explored and inspected sections of the transit system together by using avatars within the synchronised immersive space.
The digital twin of the MTR system demonstrated the ability to reduce maintenance overheads and significantly increase staff safety using cost-effective technology. The use of the virtual version minimised system- wide disruption and schedule delays were greatly reduced.
Commenting on the scope of the project, Spinview’s Chief Technical Officer and Innovation Lead, Greg Roach noted: “What would have been a significant undertaking was immediately synthesised into quick and user-friendly query-and-response database exercises. Creating this true digital twin—that included volumetric information as well as a visual representation—would not have been possible using any other technology.”
Once the remodelling project was completed, MTR staff continued to utilise the digital twin across multiple business areas e.g., for virtual staff training, running simulations for work orders and accessing point cloud data. Staff continue to input new BIM data to update and enrich the twin.
Modelling the MTR train depot system resulted in a digital representation of the real world to make the physical world more accessible and efficient. Indeed, many industries are gradually adopting an approach to tasks that involves some form of a digital twin—including product design, construction, building maintenance and infrastructure management. Solutions such as these can be readily implemented in businesses.