Current Affairs

SMRT partners McLaren to monitor performance of MRT trains using F1 technology


SINGAPORE: SMRT Trains and McLaren Applied Technologies will work together on condition-monitoring solutions that are able to track and predict the performance of MRT trains, the rail operator said in a press release on Thursday (Mar 15). 

McLaren Applied Technologies is a UK-based technology company part of the McLaren Group, which includes McLaren Racing, the Formula One (F1) team, and McLaren Automotive, the carmaker. 

SMRT said that such condition-monitoring solutions are commonly used by F1 race cars to provide vital information derived from “highly specified data capture” in real-time, to the F1 pit crews and mission control.

“Over a Grand Prix season with about 21 races, the McLaren race team captures an average of more than 12 billion real-time data points from over 300 sensors embedded on its two race cars,” SMRT said.  

“Expert analysis of the data allows the team to monitor in real-time, perform detailed analysis and make informed decisions in mission control to optimise on-track performance.” 

SMRT added that the “condition-monitoring” sensors and “high-speed” loggers are of “robust construction to withstand the stresses imposed during high speed races, meaning they can be readily adapted for use on trains”. 

The two companies will work on solutions to monitor the train motors, brakes, pneumatic systems and gearboxes on a test-bed SMRT train, the statement said. 

The test-bed train will then allow engineers to validate the performance of an end-to-end condition monitoring platform. 

A memorandum of understanding between the two companies was signed in Singapore on Feb 23, SMRT said. The ceremony was witnessed by SMRT President and Group CEO Desmond Kuek as well as McLaren Group Acting CEO Dick Glover. 

Commenting on the agreement, Mr Kuek said: “In Singapore, SMRT has been pioneering the development of rail condition monitoring sensors to minimise disruption of our commuter service, optimising train performance by detecting and rectifying emerging defects early. 

“We look forward to collaborating with McLaren Applied Technologies to elevate this capability further, combining our engineering expertise in rail with their proven capabilities harnessing sensors, telemetry and software in motorsport.”

Mr Kuek highlighted that McLaren’s motorsport technology will be adapted and installed on board SMRT’s proof-of-concept train later this year. 

“When implemented fleet-wide, we expect to bring about enhanced safety, reliability and comfort for commuters on our rail network,” he said. 

Commenting on the partnership, Mr Glover said: “We are excited to take this first step in Singapore with SMRT, working together to adapt our proven motorsport technologies to optimise fleet performance and provide continuous improvements to the passenger experience.” 

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