October 9, 2020

First Pilot of Language Tool Has Started

The Language Tool, which started as an idea in the sector Language Programme (LP) and X Border Project, is now being developed by the Translate4Rail (UIC/RNE) Project (T4R), financed from the Shift2Rail fund, and now ready to be tested in the T4R Pilot.

The T4R Advisory Board meeting, which took place in Paris in February 2020, brought the idea to start the Language Tool development for a tablet version based on a prepared set of pre-defined messages originally developed by the UIC X Border Project and afterwards harmonised with IMs in the RNE LP. This approach was entirely in line with the sector Language Programme and covers the first phase of tool development. Starting in December 2019, the functional requirements were prepared and published in order to contract an IT company for the development of the tool. Following the successful tender, work on the tool started in May 2020, delivering quick results already in August 2020 in the form of the first Language Tool prototype. Subsequently, some first tests were conducted and the tool improved accordingly, to be ready for pilot testing from September 2020. These preliminary results were achieved through close cooperation of UIC, RNE and their Members,

The T4R Language Tool prototype is now ready to be tested within pilot tests proving the concept of pre-defined messages as well as for speech-to-speech translation of communication between traffic controllers and train drivers. The Language Tool will undergo testing on the Villach – Tarvisio (Pontteba) border section and Infrastructure Managers ÖBB Infra and RFI, together with Railway Undertakings Mercitalia, DB Cargo and RCG, are going to start with the laboratory phase of the tool testing. In a second step, based on the laboratory test results, the tool will progress to a field testing phase to evaluate the tool’s functionalities in daily operation. With this approach RUs and IMs are making progress in an aligned way to overcome the language barrier.