Renfe is currently developing its 2019-2023-2028 Strategic Plan and one of its pillars for achieving its objective of setting the benchmark for mobility and transport, and staving off the competition, is Digital Transformation.
The digital transformation will make internal processes more efficient and improve the customer's travel experience, among other innovations, thanks to a new website and more agile communication with users, offering simplicity, customisation and value-added services.
Furthermore, the Renfe Group is committed to open innovation with the criterion of combining internal and external knowledge using an approach of collective intelligence to endow the entire model with more speed and efficiency, especially in the digital sphere, around which many the innovation challenges will revolve.
dōcō is Renfe's mobility-as-a-service platform, the objective of which is to transform mobility nationwide, offering a door-to-door experience that encompasses all public and private operators who want to form part of the project. It is an open and inclusive platform that is one of a kind in Spain given the level of complexity of the integrations performed and the scope of coverage in terms of transport operators.
The app is available on Google Play and the Apple Store meaning that the general public can use it and travel "where" and "how" they want. It also comes in a web version, which allows users to plan, book and pay for tickets.
The release of the app represented a key milestone in the gradual launch of dōcō, which began on 16 November exclusively for those previously identified to pilot its use. Two weeks later, more than 2,000 people had already downloaded and used the app, having received a personal code for them to start enjoying the service.
Renfe has led the dōcō project, becoming the first public company to manage door-to-door mobility services; dōcō encompasses Renfe Viajeros (Renfe Passengers) trains, both Cercanías (Commuter) and Media Distancia (Mid-Distance) services, as well as Larga Distancia (Long Distance) and Alta Velocidad (High Speed) trains. Each day, more than 2,000 trains are available, connecting to approximately 200 destinations.
The launch of dōcō has been made possible thanks to the combined efforts of Renfe, NTT DATA and Siemens Mobility. Each company has contributed their experience and knowledge in developing this MaaS (Mobility as a Service) app. The involvement of mobility companies has also been critical to the launch of the service.
At present, the app can be used to contract services from Renfe, Bolt, Cooltra, Karhoo, Movitaxi, Reby and Transportes Metropolino de Barcelona (most recent addition), covering means of transport including trains, taxis and electric scooters.
Together, these companies allow uses to plan, book, purchase, track their trip and pay directly from the dōcō app, offering the best possible experience, adapting to the needs of all travellers, allowing them to travel where and how they want.
dōcō is a scalable project with a five-year action plan that foresees the development of additional features that will progressively improve the travel experience. New partners will also become involved to expand the available coverage, aspiring to provide the maximum possible range of mobility services to all people travelling nationwide. All this will enhance the Spanish mobility system through an accessible, inclusive and safe transport service allowing anybody to reach their destination in a simple and sustainable way.
24-hour customer service office
dōcō has its own customer service centre, open since the first version of the platform was launched in November, and which, since the start of January, is now available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Renfe has set up the dōcō customer service centre at the Digital Skills Centre in Mérida, thus aligning its digitalisation, internalisation and efficiency strategy with the Resource Relocation Plan of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, designed as an engine for improving competitiveness, the development of new economic activities, the use of resources and talent associated with the surrounding area. With this in mind, the staff at the Digital Skills Centre in Mérida are mainly young people residing in Extremadura, mostly in Mérida and the surrounding area.
The centre boasts multichannel technologies allowing customers to request help over the phone, via email, the website, chat tool or by filling out a form. The agents themselves are responsible for customer interaction, although they will use digital speech-to-text translation technologies or virtual agents.
Learn more about the new features of dōcō at:
As an essential part of the innovation plan, and in order to solve the major challenges of the future and respond robustly to the changes deriving from the deregulation of the sector, Renfe has joined forces with professionals and startups specialised in innovation and technology to develop the TrenLab programme, aimed at supporting startups and innovative entrepreneurs and incorporating their capacity for innovation and disruption to Renfe's services to generate value for our customers and promote our digital transformation.
TrenLab is Renfe's commitment to innovation and support for new disruptive startup initiatives to drive Renfe's digital transformation, strengthen its position as a railway company in a deregulated sector and enhance its transformation into an end-to-end mobility operator. Having attracted more than 900 startups since its launch, TrenLab has already helped to accelerate seventeen of them. Together, they have received a sum of more than 16.5 million euros in financing from a variety of investors, creating 121 jobs. At present, the TrenLab programme facilitates the direct contracting of participating startups.
The creation of Digital Skills Centres is part of the digital transformation, internalisation and efficiency strategy established in the Renfe Group's 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. These centres will allow the operator to decentralise technological services and create quality employment through its subsidiary, LogiRAIL. All in all, more than 400 new jobs will be created between 2021 and 2024.
The creation of these Renfe Digital Skills Centres forms part of the Resource Relocation Plan prepared by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, designed as an engine of measures for improving competitiveness, the development of new economic activities, the use of local resources and the talent associated with the surrounding area.
The Skills Centres are being set up in: Miranda del Ebro, Alcázar de San Juan, Teruel, Mérida, Linares and Monforte de Lemos.
Renfe has sent out to tender the supply, installation and commissioning of a GSM-R (Global Mobile Communications System for Railways) digital communication system for 534 conventional gauge trains used as part of the Cercanías (Commuter) and Media Distancia (Mid-Distance) public service. The value of the tender totals 37 million euros and the execution period for the order is 48 months.
The GSM-R voice communications system, the same as the system used on high speed trains and similar to mobile telephone technology, although with specific channels and protocols, is used in radiotelephony for the transmission of information in relation to railway operations.
This network facilitates continuous communication, minimising interference between trains and control centres. The installation of this system represents a step forward in evolution and digitalisation, improving the performance of the previous analogue system known as 'train-ground', which is much more restrictive
Renfe implements artificial intelligence systems as part of its video surveillance equipment at approximately 500 Cercanías stations. Renfe has launched the digitalisation of security systems at 483 Cercanías stations to gather and process thousands of pieces of data anonymously and automatically through the CCTV system at each station and integrate them into a single dashboard. The aim is to improve security and the customer experience, always structured around strict compliance with data protection regulations.
Equipped with a budget of 31.7 million euros and financed using EU funds, this project began at the end of last year and is scheduled to end in 2024. During this time, more than 5,000 analogue security cameras will be replaced with IP cameras, which will allow the information gathered via the CCTV system to be shared as part of an integrated video analytical system.
Furthermore, the RS3 project foresees the installation of 500 state-of-the-art servers and the renewal of operating systems, facilities and digital elements at Cercanías stations. It also provides for the installation of approximately 500 cybersecurity probes for their monitoring, control and analysis. The ultimate goal is to increase digital security and cybersecurity.
The new system will allow the company's security team to make better decisions, using the integrated dashboard supplied with real-time data. Thanks to this smart security system, it will be possible to obtain knowledge about what is happening at Renfe Cercanías (Commuter) stations in real time. For example, by analysing passenger flows, if necessary, more staff can be directed to the stations that need it at any given time. It will also be possible to detect, in an automated manner, incidents related to safety such as people and objects falling onto the tracks, fires, vandalism or fraud accessing the services.
The RS3 system collects images from stations, which are integrated into a video analytical system, where they are processed and analysed using artificial intelligence algorithms. Subsequently, the images processed are deleted from the system within milliseconds. To implement these solutions, Renfe has recruited leading companies in the fields of image analytics and intelligence technologies, such as imotion Analytics, one of the start-ups accelerated as part of our TrenLab innovation programme.
In total, this project provides for the installation of 6,451 devices for the implementation of a closed circuit CCTV and a smart video analytics system. Furthermore, these devices will be supported by access control systems, electrical control equipment or communication elements for the connection of the different IP equipment, in addition to other facilities.
During 2021, work began on the planning and execution of facilities at a total of 21 stations in the Madrid Cercanías hub; at 22 stations in Rodalies Barcelona; 7 stations in the Bilbao Cercanías hub; 7 stations in the Valencia hub and 4 stations in the Sevilla hub.
And in 2022, it is expected that these improvements will be implemented at 33 stations in the Madrid Cercanías hub; 43 in Rodalies Barcelona; 15 in the Bilbao Cercanías hub and 6 RAM (metric gauge); 14 in the San Sebastian hub; 10 in the Asturias Cercanías hub and 9 in RAM; 12 Santander RAM stations; 17 in the Valencia hub; 9 in the Seville hub; 11 in the Malaga hub; 8 in the Murcia/Alicante hub and 7 stations in the Cadiz hub
Worth a total of 23.15 million euros, Renfe will equip its stations with multimedia signage, displaying all information of interest to passengers visually and continuously, such as timetables and trains, events or any other service or relevant information
. The new equipment will allow for the paper information displayed in cabinets at stations to be replaced, ensuring that all display updated information, allowing for changes or updates to be made immediately and simultaneously across all stations where the system is available, providing the option of customising the contents to each station and improving the general image.
Furthermore, the contract for the timing system, worth 12.3 million euros, entails the acquisition of supplies for electronic timing systems, repair services and the maintenance of precision equipment
Renfe and Microsoft are collaborating to explore solutions based on the use of Artificial Intelligence technologies that make it possible to digitise and optimise train and rolling stock maintenance activities, as well as predicting possible breakdowns before they actually occur.
The agreement includes a trial of HoloLens glasses and mixed reality tools to access technical documentation and training resources, as well as the use of collaborative platforms to share technical information.
With the analytical capabilities of Azure and using IOT technologies, the aim is to prepare a proof of concept that makes it possible to collect historical data from trains with a view to anticipating possible problems and helping avoid incidents before they happen, reducing the downtime of rolling stock.
The Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality device provides full access to schematics, technical documents and any additional procedures or information to perform diagnoses or interventions on rolling stock. Furthermore, the holographic visor allows those wearing mixed reality glasses to consult notes and complex instructions in relation to the equipment they are performing an intervention on and using Dynamics 365 Remote Assist (the app can be used to connect multiple collaborators) operators can share their field of vision with experts hundreds of kilometres away to receive remote support.
The agreement will demonstrate that by using this technology, it is possible to reduce errors and speed up complex maintenance operations.
Digitalisation of the fleet maintenance process
On the other hand, one of Renfe's main aims was to bring together digital platforms at the service of employees and promote collaboration.
From this perspective, the agreement will make it possible to verify the capabilities of Microsoft Teams, Power Platform and Sharepoint to digitalise the different engineering resources and standardise and contextualise information, as well as improve its management
We have created our Open Data Portal to organise information about our Group that we consider to be of use to the public and allow third parties to access it. The data.renfe.es portal contains 47 accessible and downloadable data sets, including commercial and technical information about our stations, data for Cercanías (Commuter) passengers by time band, and train fact sheets for our entire fleet.
Other initiatives launched are in relation to the value of data.
We believe that we can obtain significant value by processing the huge amount of data we already have and generate every day.
To this end, worth mention is the construction of a space in the cloud (Microsoft Azure) where projects that aim to add value from the data will be rolled out
. To this end, several projects have been implemented:
Group Analytical Dashboard (Data Lake)
The aim is to bring together the main indicators and corporate and company factors (supply and demand, service monitoring, quality, revenue, etc.) in a single analytical model
Phase I of the Analytical Dashboard has been rolled out for the Renfe Group, having already obtained more than 1 billion records and uploading another 16 million every day. The project includes:
• The preparation of a Data Catalogue, ensuring the reliability, quality and security of the data as part of the Data Governance model
• More than 170 analytical reports with relevant data from Group Companies: revenue, customers, services, punctuality, etc. and the ability to access the analytical model created to explore the data, increasing and enhancing its strategic value.
At present, new pillars of analysis and functionalities are being incorporated, including but not limited to: Economic-Financial Information, Monitoring of the Strategic Plan, Human Resources Information, Predictive Analysis Capabilities, Graphic representations on synoptic maps and Strategic Plan indicators
Big Data to improve risk management. Traffic Safety
Safety is one of our strategic pillars and we are constantly considering initiatives that help to improve this factor.
At present, we have different information systems in place that help to manage risks.
Using data analytic technologies, artificial intelligence and graph management to study correlations, in relation to the billions of piece data that the black boxes of trains generate (legal recorders) our aim is to proactively identify new threats and thus anticipate and avoid potential new hazards. The ultimate goal is to move towards more proactive security management