Basel BLT tram (Photo: BLT)

SWITZERLAND: Nokia has partnered with Schweizer Electronics to deploy its Scene Analytics technology to improve level crossing safety on Baselland Transport’s network.

Nokia Scene Analytics monitors level crossings in real time using computer vision and artificial intelligence to detect any foreign objects on or near the tracks.

Baselland Transport chose Nokia’s automatic detection system in a bid to enhance safety on its network. The safety of levels crossings in particular is a matter of serious concern in Europe, with the EU Agency for Railways reporting in its 2021 Safety Report that in 2019, around 30% of deaths resulting from railway accidents in the European Union occurred on level crossings; there were 250 deaths in total with some 300 serious injuries.

According to Nokia, although CCTV cameras have long been used on level crossings, they cannot all be permanently monitored. Scene Analytics automates this process, and is capable of recording and processing thousands of video streams in real-time. Once the level crossing barriers have come down, it scans the space within them to identify any foreign objects on the tracks, and sounds the alarm, giving the control centre and tram driver enough advance warning to apply the brakes and avert an accident.

Besides improving safety and response time, the deployment of Scene Analytics on level crossings should also help minimise downtime and delays due to incidents. Nokia also points to cost savings thanks to the incorporation of machine learning algorithms, which means there is less need for staff to manually update the system.