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  • Digitalization: Knorr-Bremse and Rail Vision to test obstacle detection systems on Swiss operator SBB Cargo’s locomotives

    2020-09-24 14:29:10
    Summary:&bull; Knorr-Bremse Switzerland is to integrate Israeli startup Rail Vision&#39;s electro-optic obstacle detection sy...
    •  Knorr-Bremse Switzerland is to integrate Israeli startup Rail Vision's electro-
    optic obstacle detection systems into shunting locomotives of SBB Cargo for
    extended prototype testing
    •  Fitted with sensors, artificial intelligence (A.I.) and deep learning capabilities,
    the systems can detect and classify obstacles during shunting processes
    •  Combined with an add-on remote control from Schweizer Electronic, Rail
    Vision’s systems are expected to enable single-person control of shunting
    processes, potentially optimizing operational flow and staffing for operators

    Munich, Germany/Ra’anana, Israel, September 23, 2020 – Knorr-Bremse, the globalmarket leader for braking and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles, andIsraeli startup Rail Vision will equip multiple SBB Cargo shunting locomotives withRail Vision’s Assisted Remote Shunting system for obstacle detection. After prototypetesting is successfully completed at the end of the first quarter of 2021, the partnerswill be looking into addressing additional business activities to adopt obstacledetection systems for cargo vehicles.

    Based on electro-optic sensors, artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities, RailVision’s systems are expected to make shunting processes of cargo vehicles more efficient.Detecting obstacles and interfacing with the Remote Control from Schweizer Electronic, theprototype system can enable a single person to control shunting from a remote location.Today, by contrast, shunting generally takes two people: a locomotive driver and a signaler,who notifies of any possible obstacles and the remaining distance to other vehicles to thedriver via radio from outside. The innovation comes at a crucial time, as several operatorsare expecting staffing crunches in the medium term.

    “We are very happy to jointly enter the crucial testing phase of Rail Vision’s obstacle detectionsystems on SBB Cargo’s locomotives”, says Dr. Nicolas Lange, Chairman of theManagement Board of Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems. “These systems offer apromising avenue to further support operators in managing their fleets, and they are abuilding block in realizing the future scenario of automatic train operation.”

    “As several cargo operators are anticipating personnel shortages in the coming years, RailVision’s products can contribute to increasing operational efficiency after a more widespreadrollout”, adds Andreas Hefti, Managing Director at Knorr-Bremse Switzerland.

    “Rail Vision is proud to jointly execute this project with our partner Knorr-Bremse Switzerlandand in cooperation with Schweizer Electronic. SBB Cargo is widely regarded as a pioneerwhen it comes to innovation in the railway industry”, says Elen Katz, CEO of Rail Vision. “Weare excited to introduce our unique application with our partners to the train industry. RailVision’s Assisted Remote Shunting system will improve safety and contribute to unobstructedone-man control in everyday operations”.

    Rail Vision’s Shunting Yard System uses advanced electro-optic sensors combined withartificial intelligence and deep learning technologies to detect and classify obstacles on andalong rail tracks, providing both drivers and remote operators with critical real-time alerts. Thesystem monitors switches and recognizes signals and paths up to 200 meters ahead. Oncean obstacle is detected, the system analyzes and classifies it. When warning is needed, itsends both visual and acoustic alerts to the driver, and optionally also to the Command &Control Center.

    Knorr-Bremse and Rail Vision have been partners in the realm of obstacle detectiontechnology for rail vehicles since March 2019, when Knorr-Bremse acquired a 21.3% sharein the Israeli startup. With its $10 million strategic investment, Knorr-Bremse took anotherstep on its way to support innovative systems for automated driving in the railway sector.

    Figure 1: Rail Vision system mounted on cargo locomotive. | © Rail Vision
    Figure 2: Rail Vision obstacle detection and classification. | © Rail Vision

    Knorr-Bremse (ISIN: DE000KBX1006, Ticker symbol: KBX) is the global market leader for brakingsystems and a leading supplier of other rail and commercial vehicle systems. Knorr-Bremse’s productsmake a decisive contribution to greater safety and energy efficiency on rail tracks and roads aroundthe world. About 29,000 employees at over 100 sites in more than 30 countries use their competenceand motivation to satisfy customers worldwide with products and services. In 2019, Knorr-Bremse’stwo divisions together generated revenues of EUR 6.9 billion (IFRS). For more than 115 years thecompany has been the industry innovator, driving innovation in mobility and transportationtechnologies with an edge in connected system solutions. Knorr-Bremse is one of Germany’s mostsuccessful industrial companies and profits from the key global megatrends: urbanization,sustainability, digitization and mobility.

    Rail Vision is an Israeli startup founded in 2016 designing, developing and manufacturing state-of-the-art cognitive vision sensor systems to improve safety, maintenance and big data services for thetrain industry, using advanced electro-optic sensors, artificial intelligence and deep learningtechnology. Its unique systems enable every train to detect and classify objects on and along the tracksfrom up to 2 kilometers in real time in all weather and light conditions. The tailormade systems areavailable for Main Lines, Shunting Yards, and Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) operating in urbanenvironments. In addition, Rail Vision offers a range of optional complementary features based oncollected and analyzed data: Image-based Navigation, GIS Mapping and Predictive Maintenance.For more information please visit https://railvision.io/

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