Tram looks ahead to avoid collisions

New technology will make trams safer and here is a lesson to be learned. Modern light rail, trams and streetcars are constantly evolving, into a safer and and more convenient transit mode. There is no such evolution with SkyTrain as it is essentially the same mode since 1978, just tarted up every now and again.

Tram looks ahead to avoid collisions

11 Oct 2013

GERMANY: A Flexity tram operated by Frankfurt transport company VGF is to be fitted with an experimental optical sensor system designed to reduce the risk of collisions with road vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and small objects such as footballs.

The technology has been developed by Bombardier Transportation and image processing specialists at the Austrian Institute of Technology. Cameras with high spatial resolution monitor the path in front of the tram for more than 60 m ahead, and the system automatically evaluates potential risk and responds accordingly. An initial acoustic warning enables the driver to react before automatic braking is triggered.

AIT says the 3D Stereo Vision Technology is extremely interference-proof, has a large range, high resolution and is cost-effective to implement.

From the Railway Gazette


4 Responses to “Tram looks ahead to avoid collisions”
  1. eric chris says:

    Please replace my previous post with this one:

    Yup, beta testers have already found what TransLink calls a “loophole” in the Compass electronic fare system. You just swipe the electronic card when you board the bus and then quickly swipe before your exit to foil the fare charge by distance (expect as huge increase in one-zone fares and a sharp drop in three-zone fares). This is just another example of buffoons being far too stupid for their six figure jobs at TransLink.

    Six figure TransLink VP Mike Madill says that nothing is perfect. Mike, it isn’t a loophole, it is a design flaw, just like the sky train which most drivers avoid. This little loophole is going to cost TransLink (taxpayers paying 70% of the cost of transit) millions of dollars of additional fare losses every year in addition to the almost $200 million (with cost overruns) for the Compass fare system which won’t work as intended. Again, Captain Kangaroo, Ian Jarvis, who heads TransLink shows everyone how inept he is at thinking things through.

  2. Sean says:

    If trams have such great technology to avoid collisions, the next step to improve a tram system is to completely automate trams on these systems.
    Zweisystem replies: Nope not going to happen.

  3. Sean says:

    I disagree. If Google does manufacture completely automated cars, then trams will do the same.

  4. Haveacow says:

    Unfortunately Transport Canada, U.S. DOT, The Europoean Transportation Commission and their component national authorities as well as most of the manufacturers who make automated systems for rail vehicles require that, automated transit vehicle systems must be completely physically segregated from other traffic as well as preferably grade seperated to be considered for there operational certificates and their extra insurance. Most Light Rail systems do not qualify for that. The rail systems that do qualify, are extremely expensive per kilometre to build because of these requirements. The operational money saved by having no drivers is usually lost due to very high equipment maintenance (operating costs) just like Skytrain and the requirement for small armies of attendants or helpers to be on hand and avaiable to get people out of trains when there are emergencies or breakdowns. Plus, like Skytrain, a large number of people are required to be in the control room (compaired to non driverless systems) when the vehicle operating system requires people to manually drive all the trains. All these extra people have to be available at all times regardless if the system is working or not. Most Light Rail systems just avoid this by having drivers.