Transport for London partners with digital-twin start-up Spinview to accelerate 2030 zero-carbon railway goals

Jan 10, 2022

10 January 2022 – Spinview, the advanced digital-twin start-up company, is partnering with Transport for London (TfL) to supply cutting-edge technology which will enable the smarter, safer and more efficient management of assets on the London Underground. As well as supporting digital monitoring of tracks and tunnels, it will also provide data on noise and heat levels as well as carbon emissions.

The partnership, which will be funded by the Government’s Smart Grant awarded to Spinview, will support the Mayor of London’s ambition for a zero-carbon railway by 2030 and focus initially on the Piccadilly line. As one of the Underground’s ‘Deep Tube’ lines – with track in some locations as far as 30m below ground – it is particularly suited to trialling Spinview’s digital-twin technology including its innovative capture and scanning device.

With sustainability an important component of the project, Spinview’s technology will open up vast amounts of data to employees across the organisation to better manage assets, drive forward business efficiencies and reach environmental targets. Utilising its unique VQecosystem™ and the visual intelligence it enables, Spinview will provide TfL with the digital model, data and tools that will allow the organisation to manage the Deep Tube environment in a smarter, safer and more streamlined way.

Spinview’s ground-breaking Deep Rail Sensor (DRS) device, which captures the geometry of the space and ‘sniffs out’ the environmental pollutants, will also establish a baseline for TfL’s current carbon emissions so it can measure and track the progress of its important environmental goals. This technology will not only help support TfL’s ongoing carbon baselining workstreams, but other environmental factors across the network, including noise and heat emissions.

With its signature data-rich digital twin, Spinview will provide TfL with a detailed and easily accessible visual recreation of its Deep Tube environment, which until now has been notoriously challenging to map in detail. Key features include:

  • A real-world replica will reveal information that may have previously been hidden from the human eye – identifying faults, locating heat hotspots, pinpointing where noise is coming from
  • This data could then be utilised by TfL to make targeted improvements to the Tube network, providing more comfortable customer journeys
  • Opening up complex data sets will support TfL through the entire life cycle of project delivery – from surveying, planning, designing and upgrading, to virtual approvals from TfL’s senior managers
  • VQecosystem™ allows employees and contractors to work from a virtual environment any time, as opposed to physically below ground during limited time slots – TfL will no longer be restricted to physically inspecting and surveying assets below ground between the engineering hours of 01:00-05:00 – instead they will be able to conduct surveys, assess the health of a location and make decisions at any time through the Spinview interface.

Linda Wade, Co-founder and CEO of Spinview, says: “We are thrilled to support TfL in its ambitions to achieve a zero-carbon railway by 2030. By establishing a visually intelligent ecosystem for TfL, Spinview hopes to not only help TfL in tracking its environmental goals, but also to support in facilitating better decision-making, driving forward business efficiencies, saving costs and future-proofing the network in the long-term.”

Paul Judge, Director of the Piccadilly Line Upgrade project, at TfL, says: “This partnership with Spinview offers us a really exciting opportunity to gain real-time access to our assets on the Underground network, many of which we can currently only inspect during engineering hours. Not only will using digital-twin technology support the smarter, more efficient maintenance of the railway, it will also enable us to more accurately monitor environmental challenges such as carbon emissions, noise levels and heat as we strive to do more to lessen our carbon footprint and help tackle the climate emergency. This is another example of us working with a wide range of market innovators to stay at the forefront of technology.”


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