iXblue wins the Jury’s Favorite Innovation Award at the 2022 Railway Innovation Awards

Rewarding companies involved in increasing the competitiveness of the rail industry

The i-Trans competitiveness cluster, a founding member of the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI), has once again organized the French phase of the European rail innovation competition. On June 22, during the Rail Industry Meetings event in Valenciennes, France, iXblue won an award for its new Atlans R7 train geolocalization system.

Sophie Glevarec, iXblue Rail Product and Program Manager, receiving the Jury’s Favourite Innovation Award for iXblue Atlans R7.

A jury made up of independent experts from different backgrounds (industry, research, local authorities) awarded this prize according to the following criteria: “innovative character”, “economic benefit for the company that developed the innovation”, “economic benefit for the railway sector”, “scope of the innovation”, “integration of new technologies, particularly digital” and “development of the innovation in partnership with private and/or public entities”.

The award aims to highlight and honor the skills and know-how of innovative companies offering solutions to increase the competitiveness of the rail industry. It is also the first step towards participating in a European-level competition organized by the ERCI network of European railway clusters. iXblue will thus represent France at this competition, which will take place during the Innotrans trade show from September 20 to 23, in Essen, Germany.

The Jury’s Favourite Innovation Award goes to iXblue Atlans R7 geolocalization system

The need for significant improvement in the performance of train positioning has become a major issue to reach the high level of quality of service demanded by users and institutions. To meet this need for precise localization, iXblue has developed a real-time localization inertial solution, based on Fiber-Optic Gyroscope (FOG) technology, called Atlans R7.

The Atlans R7 rack installed in a train.

Mounted in a rack specially designed for railway applications, Atlans R7 integrates an inertial unit working with innovative navigation algorithms adapted to the Train Engine Model, allowing continuous real-time position, speed and attitudes of trains, even in GNSS denied environments (tunnels, woods, urban canyons, …). Besides greatly improving train positioning performance, Atlans R7 definitely gives an edge to railway stakeholders by improving traffic management, railway operations, and all onboard geoservices.

Another key benefit of the Atlans R7 is the innovative virtual inertial beacons, which replace the old physical beacons installed along the tracks. By featuring virtual beacons integrated into the digital map, iXblue provides rail operators with solutions to bypass tedious and costly maintenance of track infrastructure, thus addressing the major industry challenges of digitizing and dematerializing the rail network.

European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) Innovation Award.

The i-Trans 2022 Railway Innovation Award for Atlans R7 positioning system is the culmination of several years of fruitful development by a dedicated iXblue research team. iXblue new navigation technologies for railway applications, which have been granted two patents (a patent filed on May 19, 2020: “Method of calculating an instantaneous speed vector of a rail vehicle, corresponding system” and another filed on July 8, 2021 at the INPI n°2107434 “Localization of a mobile navigating along a curvilinear guide”), promise to be complemented by further research in this field.