INSPECTION: Austrian company Kruch Railway Innovations has launched Trolleybus Checkpoint, which uses 3D laser scanning to automate the time consuming and potentailly damgerous daily inspection of the sliding contacts on trolley poles.

Trolleybus Checkpoint provides information on whether contacts are damaged or worn and detects hairline cracks which are too small to be seen.

Measurements are taken at defined checkpoints, for example whenever a trolleybus enters the depot. An optical camera identifies the vehicle through its number plate or vehicle ID, or RFID tags can be used. The 3D laser unit records the sliding contact surface, and data is stored on a cloud-based website. Automated analytics send a message to fleet managers if maintenance is required.

Optional upgrades include a force sensor that measures the contact pressure, and a light that provides the bus driver with rapid notification of any issues with the vehicle’s condition.