Innovation

Innovation

Innovation is any activity that leads to a technological advance in achieving new products or production processes and improving existing ones. Innovation projects include:

  • Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). BAA has rolled out the first stage of an innovative project known as Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). The project, which will be complete in 2009, will revolutionise the way passengers move around airports. Developed by ATS and BAA, the Heathrow PRT consists of a fleet of 18 low-energy consumption driverless pods capable of moving four passengers and their luggage along a guideway. The system will provide fast, comfortable service without station waits and help improve environmental efficiency. This project is part of the plan to revamp Heathrow Airport.

  • School dining room management with palm-vein scanners. Amey has revolutionised school dining room management by introducing the first palm recognition scanner. Developed by Yarg Biometrics Ltd, this scanner uses infrared rays to recognise the unique vein patterns in a palm and allows instantaneous meal payments without the need for cash or cards. The system protects the anonymity of children who receive subsidised school meals and prevents social stigmatisation. Parents can put a limit on daily spending and supervise the foods their children eat. Unlike most fingerprint technology, palm scanning does not require any physical contact and is therefore more hygienic. While fingerprints can change during childhood, palm veins are permanent. It is the first system of its kind installed in any school in the world. The scanner garnered Amey the 2007 BIFM Technology Award.

  • Water management. Ferrovial promotes another major area in technological innovation: Cadagua's water treatment and desalination plants, which are the national market leaders. Its laboratories and pilot plants have become the company's R+D operating centres and have a number of innovation projects underway to improve water quality, treating water for human consumption and waste water management.

Dulcinea, the biggest tunnel boring machine in the world

Dulcinea, the biggest tunnel boring machine in the world

The M30 bypass work in the south of Madrid is one of the biggest engineering projects in the world. A project of such proportions needs equally impressive equipment. For this reason, Dulcinea was designed - the biggest boring machine in the world capable of tunneling 36 metres daily.