SmartDrive issued new patent for rail triggering tech

Posted on June 21, 2016

SmartDrive Systems, a provider of video-based solutions that reduce risk, improve safety and support transit agencies’ ability to comply with rail regulations, announced that a new patent has been issued and that three additional patents are pending for its SmartDrive Rail solution.

Designed to improve rail safety and help agencies comply with government regulations and their own operating guidelines, the newly patented capability uses sophisticated accelerometer-based technology and integrates with rail vehicle safety systems to detect high-risk maneuvers that fall outside normal operating parameters. These technologies are embedded within SmartDrive Rail, which provides rail agencies with critical insight into their safety risks and — through video, rail specific risk scoring and intuitive coaching workflows — helps them improve safety performance.

“Continuous innovation is at the heart of everything we do at SmartDrive and a core focus of our research and development investments,” stated Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. “Rail operations are appropriately bound by stringent safety regulations and our flexible open platform makes us uniquely qualified to meet the distinct safety of transit agencies across rail, bus and paratransit.”

U.S. Patent number 9,296,401 B1 for SmartDrive Rail’s unique triggering capability was issued on March 29, 2016 and brings to 133 SmartDrive’s total portfolio of issued and pending patents. The triggering capability integrates with rail-specific safety systems including positive train control, automatic train protection and track brake systems, enabling SmartDrive Rail to understand when a rail vehicle is operating outside normal operating parameters, capturing event video that is then reviewed and scored by rail safety analysts for risk. The video, along with the identified safety risks and other pertinent data, is prioritized for coaching and available through a web-based interface.

SmartDrive Rail captures safety and compliance issues with the highest risk including: passing red-over-red, speeding, improper stopping and the use of personal electronic devices by operators. That information is then used by safety personnel to reduce risk and improve passenger, employee and public safety.

Initially released in 2015, SmartDrive Rail is well positioned to help agencies adhere to their standard operating procedures and government regulations, such as California Public Utilities Commission General Order 172C, which prohibits the use of personal electronic devices by rail operators. The solution leverages SmartDrive’s industry-leading video analytics platform, modified with additional hardware and cabling that comply with stringent rail requirements.

Recent enhancements enable the SmartDrive platform to store continuously recorded video for more than eight days and map safety issues to specific locations along tracks and crossings.

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