Research & development

Research & development

Developing tomorrow's sustainable products

Research and innovation have been at the very core of Ricardo’s DNA since its foundation over a century ago.

Today, Ricardo remains active in the development of technology and intellectual property that will form the basis of tomorrow’s more sustainable products. Through internal project teams, industrial research partnerships and government-sponsored collaborative programmes, Ricardo sits at the cutting edge of technology across our products, market sectors and geographic territories.

We have a portfolio of advanced technologies that can even be combined to provide greater competitive differentiation for rail vehicles:

  • Intelligent route planning and management
  • Vehicle to vehicle control systems
  • Advanced energy storage solutions:
    • Fully adaptable high capacity battery management systems available for implementation with a wide range of cell chemistries
    • Torqstor contactless, energy dense, high-speed flywheel, utilizing a patented magnetic coupling that provides a highly compact design with potential for up to four units of  >1MJ storage on a multiple unit
  • Waste heat recovery systems
  • Alternative fuels: LNG, CNG, Ethanol
  • Sentience Rail driver-management systems

Business case analysis of technology options

Ricardo can help facilitate high-quality business decisions through the combined application of strategic analysis and commercial and technological expertise. Through the company’s extensive industry based technology road mapping processes, Ricardo can provide high-value guidance to clients in demonstrating the optimal pathways for locomotive and multiple-unit propulsion beyond electrification.

Key aspects of the Ricardo service

  • Independent review of market options, including both technical and economic assessments
  • Ricardo is fully independent — its analysis and advice are hence objective and free from bias in favour of any individual supplier
  • Analysis of market drivers on technology, providing technology route maps with recommendations and technical solutions for each stage
  • Research and development capability to drive technology — our access and competence in adjacent markets means we provide a wider review of the options available
  • Independent thought and broad-ranging industrial expertise avoids cost-optimal solutions being filtered out by prevailing rail culture, preferences and prejudices

For more information, visit our research and technology pages at