OSGi on High Speed Trains in Germany

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Intermediate
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We designed, developed, deployed and have been running an OSGi platform on all high-speed ICE trains in Germany since 2014. Requirements, design and development lasted 6 years and the goal of the platform was to integrate multiple existing systems on the train and link them to the back-office systems using GSM-R and GSM-P network. This integration required a modular platform and OSGi offered the ideal technology to achieve this.

The OSGi based solution meant that functionality such as seat reservation could be achieved via the newly integrated wireless network connectivity rather than a manual offline process. This led to reduced cost and improved reliability. Other systems that were integrated included:

  • Timetable & schedule data integration,
  • Restaurant/bistro cash-desk for efficient supply chain management,
  • Train (preemptive) diagnostics for effective maintenance planning,
  • Train (GPS) location for effective fleet management.

The solution uses many of the OSGi specification services including Monitor Admin, Event Admin, Configuration Admin, Wire Admin, and others.

The solution has proved very successful and 2nd and 3rd generation extended platforms are being worked on to include QOS, Microservices, Virtualization. These build on the existing platform and will serve as a reference for future trains.

The presentation will include a number of the lessons learnt and recommendations for other practitioners putting the technology in to use in for a highly visible critical service based solution.

The project of course involved more than just the technology and required the adaption of existing processes within a conservative and long existing environment at Deutsche Bahn.

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