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May 29, 2024

Awareness, adoption readiness and challenges of railway 4.0 technologies in a developing economy

Awodele, I. A., Mewomo, M. C., Municio, A. M. G., Chan, A. P. C., Darko, A., Taiwo, R., Olatunde, N. A., Eze, E. C., & Awodele, O. A. (2024). Awareness, adoption readiness and challenges of railway 4.0 technologies in a developing economy. Heliyon, 10(4), e25934–e25934. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e25934

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Abstract

The railway industry has witnessed increasing adoption of digital technologies, known as Railway 4.0, that is revolutionizing operations, infrastructure, and transportation systems. However, developing countries face challenges in keeping pace with these technological advancements. With limited research on Railway 4.0 adoption in developing countries, this study was motivated to investigate the awareness, readiness, and challenges faced by railway professionals towards implementing Railway 4.0 technologies. The aim was to assess the level of awareness and preparedness and identify the key challenges influencing Railway 4.0 adoption in Nigeria's railway construction industry. A questionnaire survey (was distributed to professionals in the railway construction sector to gather their perspectives on awareness of, preparation for, and challenges associated with the use of Railway 4.0 technologies. The results revealed that awareness of Railway 4.0 technologies was moderate, while readiness was low among the professionals. Using exploratory factor analysis, 10 underlying challenge constructs were identified including lack of technical know-how, resistance to change, infrastructure limitations, and uncertainty about benefits, amongst others. Partial Least Square Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) confirmed these constructs, with reliability and availability, lack of technical know-how, lack of training and resources, and uncertainties in benefit and gains having significant influence on awareness and readiness. The study concludes that focused efforts in training, infrastructure improvement, supportive policies, and communicating the advantages of Railway 4.0 are critical to drive adoption in Nigeria and other developing economies. The findings provide insights into tailoring Railway 4.0 implementation strategies for developing contexts.

Keywords

Railway 4.0; Awareness; Readiness; Challenges; Technologies