Proven innovation

With a history that stretches back to 1951, U.S.-based Cubic Corporation, parent company to Cubic Transportation Systems Limited, today represents a leading solutions provider to the defence, security and transportation markets

While the business was originally founded as a small electronics company in a San Diego, California storefront, Cubic today operates as a trusted global partner in the design, integration and operation of systems, products and associated services. The business quickly grew to expand by as much as 588 per cent during the 1960s and subsequently established a presence across nearly 60 countries around the world. During this time, the company continued in its mission to make the world better through innovation, technology solutions and world-class services in defence, security and transportation. Cubic achieves this goal through the provision of a number of activities including:

  • Solving complex problems with innovative technology, systems and solutions.
  • Collecting and analysing large-scale data that is usable to the company’s customers.
  • Dedicated efforts to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve the experience of the end user.
  • Accelerating the implementation of cutting-edge, nextgeneration solutions.

“In 1971, Cubic made its entrance into the mass transportation market in the U.S. through its acquisition of Western Data Products of Los Angeles, today known as Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS). A year later, the group supplied its first automatic fare collection (AFC) system for Chicago’s Illinois Central Gulf Railroad. Since then, we have gained considerable strength within the world’s mass transportation markets. In transport, we have excelled in the world of AFC, providing leading projects around the world including Transport for London’s (TfL) Oyster system, Chicago’s account-based Ventra system and Sydney’s Opal system. Cubic has since expanded into the development of intelligent transport systems (ITS), mobility and tolling, winning our first major tolling contract last year in New Hampshire,” details Business Development Director, CTS Europe, John Pickworth.

“Cubic is today a leading integrator of payment and information solutions and related services for intelligent travel applications. The company delivers integrated systems for transportation and traffic management, providing a single, consistent experience for travellers, enabling them to choose the smartest and easiest way to travel and pay for their journeys, while enabling transportation authorities and agencies to manage demand across the entire transportation network – all in real time,” Pickworth continues. “We are privileged to have an inspirational leader in Matt Cole, president of CTS. Cole’s NextCity™ vision is driven to transform the customer’s end-to-end journey while using data to help make operations more informed and efficient and remains a key cornerstone of our strategy. NextCity is the CTS roadmap to develop a co-ordinated framework – centred around three core principles of an integrated customer experience, unified operations and analytics – all provided through a single account.”

The business was previously profiled in the May 2016 issue of Railway Strategies, during which time Pickworth discussed the growing demand for intelligent revenue collection with technologies like contactless payment that have become increasingly integrated into the world’s rail networks in recent years. Over the subsequent months, CTS has been focused on a major enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation programme, which involves modernising many of its internal processes and ensuring that Cubic is ready for continued growth and success. This represents a Cubic 140 bsignificant venture and a vast investment that encompasses many, if not all of the company’s day-to-day business processes.

Other key activities across the business are more oriented to product development and responding to the knowledge that customers increasingly prefer to buy established and proven technologies, rather than bespoke solutions, and that such products represent the route to many major opportunities globally across several markets. “These products can mean anything from a device such as a gate or a ticket vending machine to a full back office solution. The important change is that our solutions now have clearly defined roadmaps, upgrades and future proofing built in that provides long-term resilience for our customers. As part of the product drive, Cubic has cemented significant strategic relationships with partners including Microsoft, Mastercard and Cisco – contributing even further to maximising our combined value to customers in a constantly evolving world of technology. A great example of the strength this brings is the move to the cloud for many of our solutions, such as the recently secured work in Miami,” Pickworth says.

“In 2015, we opened our Innovation Centre in London, following the successful award of the TfL Electra (Oyster). This has been a hugely successful innovation, changing the way we tackle problems together with our customers and partners and developing a space where anything can be challenged and overcome,” he continues. “In the U.K., product evolution means a lot and we are supporting the Department for Transport (DfT) on the SMART 2018 objective as well as helping demonstrate technological innovation to all of our train operating company customers. Furthermore, we see significant regional development and integration across modes in the U.K. to boost the economy and we are ready to bring our knowledge, experience and innovation to new customers and partners. Our work with TfL has continued to be the cornerstone of our U.K. business, having secured a significant Intellectual Property Rights deal; whereby, Cubic has the opportunity, on a non-exclusive basis, to work together with TfL to sell the London solution to anywhere else in the world.”

With a continued stream of new innovation coming out of the company and a proven product portfolio, the market remains highly exciting for CTS despite a challenging trading environment. “The market is looking for innovators that can deliver and we see this as core to our capability, which has been evidenced time and time again. As a company, we see the need to constantly change to reflect industry needs and to ensure we are leading not following. This has varying successes, but it is the essence of how we operate and need to support the industry in future proofing any investment,” Pickworth concludes. “Around all of this, we will continue to evolve our company and support our people, delivering to a core set of values that makes us attractive to work for, ethically sound and able to deliver against a clear vision. We are extremely excited by the challenges ahead, and have invested to ensure we are ready to deliver and support the latest advances in transport related technology and service.”