Siemens agrees $1.92bn deal to develop 94 trains for London Underground
The Germany-based manufacturer, Siemens, has agreed a $1.92bn contract to develop 94 new trains that are set to be introduced into the London Underground for its Piccadilly line.
Having initially been awarded the contract in June earlier this year, the agreement faced legal action from Bombardier and Hitachi, however, a High Court ruling later decided that the deal could go ahead.
The train will be built in the firm’s £200mn ($256.2mn) factory in Goole, East Yorkshire, for which phased development are expected to commence this year.
Nigel Holness, Managing Director of the London Underground, said: “The introduction of new trains on the Piccadilly line will significantly improve the journeys of millions of our customers, providing more frequent and more reliable trains for decades to come.”
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“This order will mean the replacement of the 1970s Piccadilly line fleet, with delivery of the new trains starting in 2023, and will help address crowding on the line as London’s population continues to rise.”
It is anticipated that the project will generate 700 jobs in the facility, which are expected to be developed on a 67-acre site near the M62 motorway.
The trains are anticipated to be in operation in London in 2024, with trains delivered for testing a year earlier in 2023.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.