3D4Bombardier – Innovative driver assistance system for smart trams of the future

In the future Bombardier trams will be capable of detecting obstacles and correctly assessing their danger potential. An optical AIT 3D sensor system specially developed for use with light rail vehicles such as trams will make them forward-looking, smart and safer in the future. 

In partnership with Bombardier Transportation, the world market leader in rail vehicle manufacture, the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology has developed a technology that is geared towards the special requirements of rail vehicles in terms of minimising the danger of collision. The new technology enables the tram to recognise a variety of objects, such as vehicles or people, to independently assess their hazard potential and respond appropriately. This will revolutionise tram safety.

This collaboration with industry builds on several years of AIT research on efficient algorithms for the evaluation of stereo imagery. The result is 3D sensors with very high spatial resolution that make it possible to accurately monitor the route ahead of the rail vehicle to a distance of 60 metres and beyond. Test runs have successfully shown that the system can automatically identify objects as obstacles and locate them accurately. The 3D stereo vision technology used is not only robust and insensitive to noise, but it also has long range, high resolution and can be implemented cheaply.