Rail

SmartDrive rail safety system deployed on Cincinnati streetcar

Posted on September 14, 2016

Photo: Cincinnati Bell Connector/Transdev
Photo: Cincinnati Bell Connector/Transdev

SmartDrive Systems, a provider of video-based safety solutions, announced that Transdev North America will deploy SmartDrive Rail on the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcars, managed by the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.

Rail operators face an increasingly risky operating environment as cities become more congested. Streetcars face unique safety challenges because they often share the same roads as cars and trucks. With distractions on the rise for both pedestrians and drivers, transit agencies are exposed to significant risks in this mixed-use environment — particularly at crossings, intersections and other locations where motorists, rail cars, and those on foot are in close proximity.

Photo: Cincinnati Bell Connector/Transdev
Photo: Cincinnati Bell Connector/Transdev

SmartDrive is deployed across the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar fleet, which operates on a 3.6-mile loop and shares the road with other vehicles.

SmartDrive Rail captures collisions and identifies operating risks and compliance issues. When an issue occurs, event video is immediately offloaded and management is notified within minutes of an incident. The solution’s triggering capability integrates with rail-specific safety systems including positive train control, automatic train protection, and track brake systems. This enables SmartDrive Rail to understand when a vehicle is functioning outside normal parameters, capturing event video that is then reviewed and scored for risk by rail safety analysts. The video, along with the identified safety risks and other pertinent data, is prioritized for coaching and available through a web interface. SmartDrive Rail provides an end-to-end managed service, validating and scoring risk, prioritizing for the customers, and escalating to management in the event of a collision.

"Protecting operators, pedestrians and motorists has always been at the top of our priority list," said Ken Westbrook, president, Transdev Rail. "Within the first few weeks of deployment, SmartDrive has already provided immediate value-delivering better insight to the risks our operators face and supporting several incident investigations."

In June 2016, SmartDrive received a patent for its rail-triggering technology, and it has three additional patents pending for its SmartDrive Rail solution. SmartDrive Rail was released in spring 2015 and is also deployed at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro), the second-largest transit agency in the U.S.

Since 2011, Transdev has deployed SmartDrive’s solution on over 7,000 vehicles across agencies nationwide.

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