Sep. 14, 2022
Sumitomo Corporation

Demonstration Experiment on the Use of Local 5G Systems in the Railway IndustryーFor the solution of social issues faced by the railway industry through the collective use of digital technologiesー

Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) and TOKYU RAILWAYS Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President & Director: Seiichi Fukuta; hereinafter, “TOKYU RAILWAYS”) (collectively, “the two companies”) will start conducting a demonstration experiment on the use of Local 5G systems (hereinafter, “the demonstration experiment”) at Kikuna, Myorenji and Yokohama Stations on the Tokyu Toyoko and Yokohama Minatomirai Lines in December 2022, following the experiment carried out at Jiyugaoka Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line in the previous fiscal year. The demonstration experiment, which is intended to increase the efficiency and promote the sophistication of the automatic railway track patrols and to increase safety on the railway premises, was selected to be one of the projects to be implemented under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ “FY2022 Development Demonstrations for Realizing Local 5G to Solve Local Issues” this July.

Recently, the Japanese railway industry has been facing a labor shortage, including of skilled engineers, and has concerns about an increase in the frequency of problems related to train cars, stations, and areas alongside the railway lines. Accordingly, the industry is required to promote automation, labor saving and safety at their facilities, and it is expected that Local 5G systems will provide the necessary infrastructure for the industry to build up an independent communication network featured by ultra-high-speed, ultra-low latency, and simultaneous connections with massive number of devices.

The first purpose of the demonstration experiment is to increase the efficiency and promote the sophistication of the automatic railroads patrols by establishing a system to transmit the images captured by high-resolution 4K cameras installed on train cars via Local 5G system for analysis by AI, thereby making it possible to detect any track equipment abnormalities without the need for workers to visit the site. In the experiment carried out in the previous fiscal year, the two companies succeeded in transmitting the data while the trains were stopping at the station and in reducing the time required for AI analysis. This fiscal year, the two companies will work to increase the precision of AI analysis and will start the shared use of the part of the Local 5G system equipment and the AI application at Yokohama Station with Yokohama Minatomirai Railway. Moreover, the two companies will conduct examinations for the shared use of the Local 5G system with multiple railway companies other than Yokohama Minatomirai Railway for commercial use of the system in and after fiscal year 2023.

The second purpose of the experiment is to provide new solutions that contribute to higher safety on the railway premises. In the experiment, the premises and railroad crossings will be monitored by security cameras in an exhaustive manner to automatically detect pedestrians who are still walking over a crossing after the crossing gate is closed and those trespassing on the premises. The camera images will be sent to the command post and the train driver in real time for the prevention of accidents and for contribution to earlier resumption of operation in case of an incident. Increasing safety on the premises will also contribute to the realization of self-driving in the railway industry in the future.

The two companies will collaborate with other related companies through this experiment to develop digital solutions for higher safety and more efficient operation of trains. Going forward, the two companies will strive to deploy such solutions across the industry for the solution of various issues.

Outline of the demonstration experiment

Cooperators in this demonstration experiment

Yokohama Minatomirai Railway, Fujitsu, Kyocera Communication System, Samsung Electronics Japan, SCSK, West Japan Railway, Oki Electric Industry, IZUKYU, Kyushu Railway, Transportation Bureau of the City of Nagoya, Nishi-Nippon Railroad, Metropolitan Expressway, TOKYU, its communications, Sharing Design, GRAPE ONE, and Insight Edge.

5G-related initiatives taken by the two companies

  • Sumitomo Corporation
    Sumitomo Corporation has been fostering the use of 5G technology by conducting demonstration experiments for the use of Local 5G systems at manufacturing facilities as well as by providing base station sharing services. GRAPE ONE LTD. and Regional Wireless Japan Ltd., which are Sumitomo Corporation Group companies, have been participating in the Local 5G system demonstration experiments implemented by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications for the verification of the effectiveness of such system across multiple industrial fields, including factories, regional disaster control centers and ports and harbors.
    TOKYU RAILWAYS has been setting up base stations at its stations through Sharing Design Inc., which was established by TOKYU CORPORATION jointly with Sumitomo Corporation to provide 5G-centered base station sharing services to mobile network operators.

Results of the “FY2021 Development Demonstrations for Realizing Local 5G to Solve Local Issues”

“FY2021 Development Demonstrations for Realizing Local 5G to Solve Local Issues” (in Japanese)


Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues

Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This project especially contributes to the following material Issues.

Achieving Harmony with the Global EnvironmentAchieving Harmony with the Global Environment
Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and IndustriesContributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries
Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching LifestylesEstablishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles
Providing Diverse “Accessibility”Providing Diverse “Accessibility”

Developing Human Resources and Promoting DiversityDeveloping Human Resources and Promoting Diversity
Enhancing GovernanceEnhancing Governance

Corporate Communications Department, Sumitomo Corporation
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