By using this site, you agree with our cookies usage in accordance with our cookies policy. You can always disable cookies in your browser settings.



5 startups that could affect the rail industry in 2022 were named

16 December 2021
Reading time ~ 3 min
Technological companies entered the StartUs Insights shortlist
Technological companies entered the StartUs Insights shortlist. Source: StartUs Insights
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 3 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Austria: The short list was formed by the international analytical company StartUs Insights. It included two companies from Russia and one from Germany, the USA and India.

According to StartUs Insights, 564 start-up railway technology companies from around the world were analyzed using big data and AI technologies.

In Russia, consultants have singled out Cognitive Pilot and Zentorn. The first is a joint venture of Cognitive Technologies and Sberbank, was founded in 2019 and is developing AI systems for driverless trains and other vehicles. The most well-known projects are on implementing an autonomous control system for CME3 shunting locomotives for Russian Railways, as well as on creating an autonomous tram for PC Transport Systems. As Olga Uskova, CEO of Cognitive Pilot, noted in an interview with the Railway Equipment Journal, in its projects the company follows the concept that does not require adaptation of the external environment and the creation of additional infrastructure.

The other Russia company, Zentorn, was established in 2020 and currently specializes in the creation of modification coatings to improve the efficiency and reliability of diesel engines. Specifically for the rolling stock, the company offers a special metal oxide layer for applying to the piston rods of locomotive diesel engines. According to the company itself, the use of their technology makes it possible to reduce the friction coefficient (to 0.04-0.09), and a record low thermal conductivity (less than 1 W/m K) of the coating has also been achieved.

In the United States, Intramotev, founded in 2020, was named the most promising startup as it plans to launch autonomous freight cars with battery traction on the market. In November, the company received financial support from the Idealab X venture capital. Intramotev expects to present prototypes of the autonomous flatcar and hopper wagon in 2022.

3D-render of autonomous freight car by Intramotev. Source:

In Germany, StartUs Insights singled out the freight-tech company Rail-Flow. Their project involves the digitalization of workflow for freight transportation services, and the main competitive advantage is the ability to standardize requests, analyze them and conduct transactions within the system.

In turn, the Indian Pantherun Technologies, created in 2019, specializes in technologies for on-board and stationary communications. StartUs Insights points out that the architecture of their solutions is based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGA), which significantly reduces the overall size of the final products.