Photo Courtesy of MTA/Patrick Cashin
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota is one of the competition’s judges.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Thursday announced the names of 19 finalists in “The MTA Genius Transit Challenge,” an international competition launched this spring that seeks to identify innovative solutions to increase the capacity and improve the reliability of the city’s subway service.
According to the beleaguered agency, an 11-member panel of technology and transportation experts reviewed more than 400 submissions from a wide-ranging group of applicants that included engineers, technologists, and leading academics and business leaders. Sixty-four applicants advanced to the second phase of the competition; 19 of those moved on to the finals.
The finalists are competing in three separate categories:
1) Improve signaling in the city subway system;
2) Identify strategies to rapidly deploy better subway cars; and
3) Increase communications infrastructure in the system.
Signals Category Finalists
*AECOM: Intelligent Alignment of Service Delivery to Customer Demand
*Alstom: Train-Centric Peer-to-Peer Communications-Based Train Control
*Ansaldo STS: Video Odometry, Heads-Up Display and Augmented Reality
*Arup: Acorn: Autonomous Car Operating Rail Network
*Robert James (Individual): Connected Vehicles & Ultra-Wideband for Communications & Location
*Metrom Rail : Positive Train Control System based on Ultra-Wideband
*Siemens : Dramatically Accelerate Communications-Based Train Control Deployment
*Thales Group: Several Integrated Ideas to Accelerate Communications-Based Train Control Deployment
*Thales Group: Next Generation Positioning: Autonomous Train Car Platform
*Alstom: Upgrades to Improve Subway Car Reliability
*Craig Avedisian (Individual): Modify Cars to Enable Trains to Have Four More Cars
*Bombardier: Modular Car Concept Utilizing a Common Vehicle Platform
*CRRC MA: Technology-Advanced Cars with Shorter Vehicle Lifecycle
*CSINTRANS: Open Information System to Improve Operations Efficiency & Customer Communications
*Faiveley (Wabtec): Newly Developed Brake Control System
*Alcatel-Lucent (Nokia): Standards-Based Trackside Private LTE Network with an IP/MPLS Backbone
*Alstom: Multi-Service High Capacity, Flexible Network
*Bechtel: The Big B: Semi-Automated Robotic System
*Transit Wireless: Dedicated LTE Network to Connect Trains to Tunnel Entrances and Trackside Radios
In May, with Gotham’s ancient subway system already in tatters and the “Summer of Hell” a hairpin turn away, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on the MTA to launch the competition. He said the challenge “will draw some of the greatest minds from across the globe to the Empire State to help inspire forward-thinking, innovative ideas that will usher in a new era of mass transit for New York that ensures the safety and efficiency of travelers today and tomorrow.”
The winners are expected to be announced sometime in the first quarter of 2018.