GERMANY: A Flexity tram operated by Frankfurt transport company VGF is to be fitted with an experimental optical sensor system designed to reduce the risk of collisions with road vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians and small objects such as footballs.

The technology has been developed by Bombardier Transportation and image processing specialists at the Austrian Institute of Technology. Cameras with high spatial resolution monitor the path in front of the tram for more than 60 m ahead, and the system automatically evaluates potential risk and responds accordingly. An initial acoustic warning enables the driver to react before automatic braking is triggered.

AIT says the 3D Stereo Vision Technology is extremely interference-proof, has a large range, high resolution and is cost-effective to implement.