All in Favour of Rail Track Safety Say AI

All in Favour of Rail Track Safety Say AI
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Frequentis

All in Favour of Rail Track Safety Say AI

Is there a faster way to detect rail track anomalies and prevent delays?

Bettina Arendt, Frequentis User Experience Expert, Michael Kreilmeier Mission Embedded, and Prof. Axel Jantsch, TU Wien, explore the use of artificial intelligence to keep passengers moving.

Railway travel has a positive impact on the environment, reducing road congestion and moving people and cargo in the most economical way; it is the essential engine that keeps urbanised society running while also tackling the climate crisis. But, to keep passengers moving, safety and reliability are crucial and only upheld through the careful maintenance of the track infrastructure. However, current maintenance methods consist of frequent surface checks by rail operator staff and precise but infrequent and cost-intensive monitoring with measuring vehicles.

Experts estimate yearly maintenance costs of about €50,000 per track kilometre and assume that a decrease of at least 15 percent up to 55 percent can be achieved through improved maintenance methods. This has been the driving force behind the solution proposed in a project funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). It will provide an excellent cost-benefit ratio, with the cost efficiency arising from low sensor costs, allowing numerous rail vehicles to be equipped with a state-of-the-art system to reach high-frequency monitoring, covering the entire railway network.

Download the full PDF here.

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