International Rail Conference and SITCE speakers share their thoughts: Stephanie Joudrier of Thales

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As we approach the UITP International Rail Conference and SITCE (Singapore, 9-11 July 2018) our programme, panel sessions and list of speakers and participants is rapidly taking shape.

Over the next few weeks we will be sitting down with several of our Congress speakers and panellists to get their thoughts on the event, public transport in the region and the industry going forward.

Up next is Stéphanie Joudrier, Product Line Manager at Thales, France.

This year’s UITP International Rail Conference is combined with SITCE for the first time in Asia and will be based around the theme 'People at the Heart of Digital Railways', putting the customer at the centre of a modern railway system. How important do you think this theme is for public transport right now?

Digital transformation is a key topic for all transportation segments. The perspective of upcoming innovations such as autonomous cars clearly shows that the railway industry needs to leverage all the benefits of digitalisation to continuously attract passengers.
Putting passengers and railway staff at the heart of digitalisation is key for the success of this transformation. For instance, technologies like artificial intelligence need to be implemented for reducing the time dedicated to low-value activities and save time for more added-value jobs.

You are due to take part in the Parallel Session: “The benefits of digitalisation for rail security – and its (cyber) – challenges” discussing how cyber security is among the top challenges of digitalisation - two very important topics. You are due to talk about smart video for railways and the advent of Artificial Intelligence. Can you tell our readers what they can expect from your session? 

Behind the current buzz words of artificial intelligence and deep learning, a real disruption is going on in computer vision. This technology evolution is bringing new features with a real benefit for the customer and less false alerts. However, the lessons learnt by Thales as system integrator shows that Video content analysis is a particularly complex technology, very sensitive to the context and environment of use (day/night, indoor/outdoor, empty/crowded, etc...). A successful deployment of such technology requires a specific methodology and expertise, specifically for large CCTV projects with thousands of cameras.

Our readers are always interested in what attracts our different speakers, panellists and guests to our events. What do you hope those attending the UITP International Rail Conference and SITCE will take away from it?

By visiting the SITCE conference, the visitors shall have a better understanding of the benefits they can get from digitalisation and what are the concrete use cases behind.

Putting passengers and railway staff at the heart of digitalisation is key for the success of this transformation.

UITP recently launched the #PT4ME campaign with the World Bank to promote and advance women in public transport. What do you think the public transport sector can do to break down barriers for women working in our industry?

It is not an easy question. In my view, this has to be managed by the industry top management through a dedicated strategy for diversity management (not only gender diversity). Indeed several Studies (ref. Diafora) show that Greater diversity represents an important tool for transforming companies and for generating performance.

And finally, on a lighter note, would you like to share with our readers a fun story you have experienced using rail, in London or abroad?  

I remember a child taking the train for the first time and asking to his mother if the train driver was well informed about their destination address.

Thank you, Stéphanie, for your time and see you in Singapore!

Stay tuned to our newsroom over the coming weeks for more in our Q&A Series from some of our event speakers! Catch up on our previous Q&A here!

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