Smart Escalator - Datacity

Smart Escalator

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How can we reduce the amount of time that escalators are out of service in order to improve user satisfaction?

Making escalators smarter in order to develop predictive maintenance tools


A large number of public services are provided by means of motorized electrical equipment (escalators, ventilation systems, plumbing, etc.) Escalators are a central element of transportation in public spaces. When they break down it causes inconvenience to commuters and creates disturbances that can be felt beyond the escalators’ initial location.



  • Use case & Expected Benefits

  • Available Resources

  • Business Opportunities for Partners

  • Startup Laureate

Use case

In order to increase the availability of motorized electrical equipment such as escalators, our objective is to collect diverse electrical data (voltage, electrical currents, etc.) in order to identify the signs that precede malfunction. The proposed solution must be able to:


  • Collect technical information corresponding to the correct functioning of motorized electrical equipment (for example, escalators)
  • Identify the most common signs of malfunction
  • Retrospectively process data in order to identify atypical signs (symptoms) and compare this information to different kinds of mechanical problems (probability of breakdowns)


On the basis of the collected data, the solution must be able to anticipate breakdowns and send an alert so that a technician can intervene before the mechanism breaks down completely. During the testing period, the solution must also be able to identify the operational elements of the motorized electrical equipment (in this case, the escalator). For example, this might include counting the commuter flow and total amount of users, the direction of the escalators, and any other information that might be useful.


It is essential that the solution can be reproduced for all types of motorized electrical equipment (ventilation systems, plumbing, hydraulic, cleaning systems, towing, etc.).

Expected Benefits

Users should benefit from an increase in the availability of the motorized electrical equipment in question.


For maintenance workers, the solution should facilitate maintenance operations (streamline equipment inspections by shifting from prevention to prediction; reduce the need for corrective maintenance)


For SNCF G&C, it should help increase equipment availability while increasing data output and flow if necessary.


  • Elements of “nominal” escalator functions, including the type of signal (vibration, electrical, audible) that allows for monitoring
  • The datasets of “real time” escalator functions will be constituted throughout the course of the project


  • SNCF G&C: Deputy director for all train stations in the Paris region, Director of the Saint-Lazare Station, Director of Elévatique Maintenance Services, project manager for IoT
  • Bouygues Energy & Services: Transportation and Rail Director of Development, Smart Cities & IoT Direct, Innovation Project Manager


Experimentation Field

At least one escalator in a train station:

  • For which it is possible for a technician to intervene (i.e. use the electrical board)
  • Whose maintenance authority/supplier shall work closely with us (share information of “nominal” operating functions, help the start-up with the analysis of “atypical” functions, corroboration of “signs and symptoms”, etc.)
  • An escalator with a heavy amount of passenger flow
  • An escalator whose operating direction can be changed (optional)
  • Ideally an escalator that can provide counting data (i.e. analyse the amount of traffic on a photo-electric sensor)

At this stage, two escalators that meet these criteria have been identified at the Saint Lazare train station.

Escalators can be found in train stations as well as in numerous other public spaces (shopping malls, airports, etc.). Also, Bouygues Energy & Services (BYES), as a company that integrates and uses various energy systems, is interested in reproducing the solutions for other types of motorized electrical equipment (ventilation systems, plumbing, hydraulics, cleaning, towing).


The solution should help SNCF G&C increase the working availability of motorized electrical equipment, thus leading to better customer service. The goal is to be able to describe a predictive maintenance self-diagnosing system, which can be integrated into future markets of relevant equipment. As a potential option, it is possible to have equipment that records the direction and flow of passengers using an escalator.

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Partners' Experts

Laurent Desmazières

Chief of the "Engineering and Methods" Department

Clément Barré

Senior Consultant

Laurent Papiernik

Open Innovation Director, Chief Data Officer

Laura Marti

Innovative Project Manager