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HS2 joins forces with Digital Catapult to harness latest technologies for the project

HS2 is linking with Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre, to identify and secure the potential offered by emerging technologies such as 5G and machine learning.

As part of a three-year framework agreement, HS2 will draw on Digital Catapult’s expertise to harness opportunities to develop, run and maintain Britain’s new high speed rail network. Together they will assess the feasibility of using advanced digital technologies to manage assets during the construction of the railway, to help predict maintenance requirements during its operation, and create a long lasting innovation legacy for the project.

The partnership’s first project, starting in May, will explore how 5G wireless technology could help monitor HS2 infrastructure such as bridges and tunnels. By replacing fixed cabled equipment it could potentially enable flexible, easy and fast deployment of monitoring systems anywhere along the route.

HS2 Ltd innovation manager Andrew Pestana said: “The boundaries of what digital systems could deliver for HS2 are likely to be far reaching. Linking with Digital Catapult will ensure that HS2’s innovation programme is plugged into this dynamic and exciting environment to harness digital opportunities for designing, building and running Britain’s new high speed rail network.”

Dr David Pugh at Digital Catapult commented: “Innovation with cutting edge, emerging technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence are set to play an increasingly large role in the success of significant national infrastructure projects like HS2. We’re looking forward to working with HS2 to explore how these technologies can create a long term innovation legacy and impact.”

Photo credit: HS2 Ltd/ PAULEY

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