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Driver Assistance for Rail Vehicles

Bombardier Transportation and Mission Embedded have developed world’s first homologated obstacle detection and collision avoidance assistance system (ODAS) for trams and light rail vehicles, enhancing safety for passengers, drivers and other traffic participants. For its innovative power in Europe’s railway sector, the system has been awarded the Innovation Leader in Rail Transport Award by the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI). 


Innovative 2D and 3D Computer Vision 

In the automotive sector, driver assistance systems have already proven their worth, avoiding collisions and reducing the risk of accidents. Trams and other light rail vehicles, however, place much higher demands upon such systems. Based on a preceding research project with AIT, Mission Embedded has industrialized a solution that is equipped with world’s best vehicle trajectory prediction for rail vehicles using multiple area scan cameras and advanced 2D and 3D computer vision algorithms as well as a vehicle position tracking system based on geographic data.


Detect any Obstacle 

In short, the system assists drivers in critical situations by detecting and tracking obstacles in real time – thereby compensating for driver errors and even initiating emergency breaking with highest precision. In contrast to existing radar-based solutions, the Mission Embedded ODAS can detect any object regardless of size, shape or material. Notably, this includes people entering the monitoring zone, which contributes greatly to the safety of all traffic participants.


Quick and Easy Installation 

As the system operates entirely independent from vehicle electronics and infrastructure, the technology can be quickly and easily installed on new vehicles or retrofitted onto existing fleets.

Adaptable for Many Applications 

Mission Embedded’s versatile computer vision platform can also be adapted to fit a great variety of other applications such as monitoring and inspection of infrastructure or automated monitoring of passenger space. It is also an excellent choice for many other automation projects in industrial contexts.

Tangible Results in Real-life Situations 

Although technology cannot replace human drivers, it can complement human perception and decision making – often deciding between life and death. The system has proven to be highly reliable in different scenarios. The entire S-Wagen fleet of Frankfurter Verkehrsgesellschaft GmbH was retrofitted with 148 ODAS systems by 2017. In the city of Frankfurt, Germany, the system has already significantly reduced the number of rear-end collisions involving tram vehicles and, as a result, helped to avoid high follow-up costs. Other transport companies in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria are currently testing the system.

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in rail technology and offers the broadest portfolio in the industry.  As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers, and the environment.

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About Mission Embedded

Mission Embedded, a Frequentis engineering services company, is your expert and partner for dependable, tailor-made solutions for innovative ideas in a variety of fields such as industrial, transportation, medical, and public safety. Mission Embedded provides more than 30 years of expertise in the field of mission-critical embedded systems and extensive know-how in computer vision and machine learning applications.

Contact us to discuss your innovative project ideas.