How IoT can improve Rail Transportation in Sri Lanka

Does the term “IoT” sounds strange enough for you to do a quick google search? I say it should be not. IoT simply stands for “Internet of Things”. That’s a concept to connect and collect information from almost every object around us using sophisticated sensors embedded in them. Yeah, it can be your watch, spectacle or even the chair you are sitting right now. So IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure while creating opportunities for more integration of the physical world into Information Technology space. This results improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit.
If you are a daily commuter in Sri Lanka Railways I assume you have “awesome” experiences with trains. The main accusation for Sri Lanka Railways is the trains are not on time any day. But I afraid IoT can make trains move faster but I assure it can save lot of your time and also make you safe. But how? We are going to talk next.
Have you ever leave your home early just to catch the train but spend about 30 minutes at station just waiting for that train to come? But will you do the same if you can check where the train is right now and what speed it is moving, from your smart phone? This is how IoT helps in our day today lifestyle. Let’s say you are in a place 10 minutes away from the railway station, if you want to get on train all you should do is to let your phone notify you when the train is may be 12 minutes away from your station.

One another aspect we should look at is the safety provide by IoT. We all witnessed some disturbing incidents involved trains in resent past. Valuable lives and infrastructure were devastated by unfortunate accidents. These type of incidents can be avoided by a little effort using IoT. Assume you are walking near a railway and train is approaching. The train will notify it to your mobile phone. So you can go to a safe area. Let’s say you are in a car and you are about to cross a railway. It won’t be dangerous anymore if your car and the train are “things”. Then the train will communicate with your car directly and slam the brake if necessary even before you identify any hazard. What if some accident happen? The train will alarm necessary institutes automatically and help will come to the location quickly.
Experts estimate that the IoT will consist almost 50 billion objects by 2020. So it’s now the high time for us to join the IoT club. One thing we should understand is turning things to “things” is not that expensive compared to the services we can get by these. In a world where even hardware also becoming open source we expect cost of becoming IoT will decrease more in the future. So the day our objects talk with us is not that far.

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