Last week, the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has made the 4th issue of Key Train Requirements available for download. The 77 pages strong document can be downloaded here. I have not gone through the whole document yet, but a few take-aways with my opinion:
A key requirement is to be found in 5.2.1 open source software:
“It is recommended that all systems on the train that collect, process or store data should be specified to use Open Source Software (OSS). This should include Train Management Systems, controllers for train sub-systems, train safety systems (including ETCS/ERTMS) and On Train Data Recorders.”
This would create a game changer for any supplier as tendering bodies might demand open source or open interfaces braking up the previous black boxes. While this can be seen as harmless for the OEMs in the industry, it will certainly change the business model of the sub-system and software manufacturers. They cannot rely anymore on the “lock-in model” with their public customers.
It will be interesting to learn how RSSB will push this requirement also in other areas of public transport e.g. asset management or billing solutions.