In Boston, Keolis technicians wear connected glasses

09-08-2016. Keolis launched a unique experiment in Boston, providing its maintenance technicians with virtual reality glasses. Equipped workers can transfer live videos and discuss issues with experts in real time. The result is faster repairs and improved performance across the network. If the trial is successful, Keolis will equip key personnel with these glasses to accelerate emergency repairs and minimise downtime.

A tool taken from the consumer market to serve transport professionals

Keolis is pursuing a policy of innovation across all of its business.

On September 7, Keolis began testing the use of virtual reality glasses as part of its maintenance and operational performance strategy for the Boston, Mass. commuter rail system.  

Keolis Commuter Services, which operates Boston’s commuter rail network, will begin distributing the virtual reality glasses to its technicians in the field, enabling it to more quickly and efficiently diagnose and repair equipment under the direction of senior technicians located back at the main maintenance facility.

In practice…

Connected to a smartphone, the glasses enable the field technician to capture and send video images over the Internet in real time to discuss the required task with an expert sitting at his/her workstation back at the office.

Workers can also do screen captures, annotate images, send procedures or exchange written messages. The data flow is encrypted and can be sent over a cellular connection (3G, 4G) or an Ethernet cable.

Keolis is working with AMA XpertEye (a subsidiary of the French company, AMA SA)

The purpose of the trial is to determine if the technology can help to improve on-time performance and equipment availability by cutting repair times on equipment that may be in remote locations and also help in reducing the need to bring rolling stock back to the maintenance facility for more complex repairs.

If the Boston trial is successful, Keolis will seek to roll out this innovation throughout the company.

The roll-out is the latest amongst recent Keolis initiatives to harness leading edge technology to benefit its passengers and clients. The company recently launched PlanBookTicket, the first public transportation solution providing a fully digital journey. Earlier this year, Keolis’ customer-facing teams in Boston received 400 iPhones with an internal app designed by Keolis, providing the real-time status of the network’s traffic. This has enabled them to provide passengers with useful and accurate information in a timely manner, helping to improve the journey experience.