The report was carried out by a research consortium comprising 17 different types of organizations (universities, technology centers, railway operators, railway infrastructure managers, etc.) from ten countries under the direction of the Spanish Railway Foundation, within the framework of the European SAFER-LC project. The document, which analyses the situation of 24 countries with regard to security at level crossings, highlights that the tool is one of the best physical-technological measures for this purpose.
As described in the report, the technological measure implemented in Spain is classified as "low-cost with a high impact on security; it uses video camera to provide real-time information to detect and warn of risks related to roadblocks and/or level crossing malfunctions".
In words of Iñigo Zorriketa, head of Begirale, the Artificial Vision area of DOMINION “the report shows that we are moving in the right direction and that the sector values this contribution to safety in the railway environment very positively, a technological innovation which, in addition to being a worldwide pioneer, has been achieved with its 100% in-house technology ".
The SAFER-LC report explains the objective of begiCROSSING as “increase safety and control over level crossings by providing real-time information on the status of level crossings, both from the road and road (people and vehicles) perspective. A video camera is installed to provide level crossing vision, as well as a software system based on Computer Vision and Computer Intelligence that performs real-time scenario analysis, detecting and alerting of any risk situation. These situations are usually caused by the presence of obstacles on the tracks (persons, vehicles, etc.) and by the malfunctioning of level crossing protection elements.”
A technology that benefits all
The system, which was tested in 2015 and 2016 under real conditions, has already been installed in seven level crossings of the Basque railway network. As the report stresses,"the advantage of this measure is that it benefits all parties: infrastructure managers, railway operators and road users".
In addition, the begiCROSSING system has a high impact on safety, as the innovative solution gives you control over many perspectives related to level crossings; the Rail Infrastructure Manager usually knows what happens to the elements that form part of the level crossing protection system (barriers, lights and sound), but lacks any information regarding the elements that are external to the crossing, such as the case of vehicles, people, objects or animals. begiCROSSING allows you to have all these elements under control by alerting you when a risk situation occurs that could pose a security problem. The system provides visual testing and statistical data on both problems and malfunctions at level crossings. In addition, all risky situations are recorded; this is useful for educational purposes as well as possible claims.
Once again, DOMINION is news due to the good practices it implements using technology to provide solutions to specific problems in an applied and innovative way.