Security and Safety

LA Metro taps SmartDrive for video safety across bus, rail fleets

Posted on June 20, 2016

LA Metro
LA Metro

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 the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) selected SmartDrive for rollout across its entire fleet of 2,350 buses and 315 railcars.

LA Metro has awarded the company a new five-year contract for its bus lines while also expanding its deployment to include the light and heavy rail system. The agency is also upgrading its bus fleet with the latest SmartDrive solution and adding extended recording capability, which provides the agency immediate video offload, remote equipment monitoring and up to 100 hours of video available on-demand. Having sought a solution that leveraged a common hardware platform and safety program and could be tailored to the distinct technical and regulatory requirements of buses and rail independently, LA Metro chose SmartDrive’s video-based platform following an extensive request for proposals (RFP) process.

LA Metro’s bus fleet has relied on SmartDrive since 2009. When the agency initiated a proof of concept to assess the effectiveness of a video safety program for its light and heavy rail system following a collision between one of its buses and railcars in 2013, it selected SmartDrive because it was the only provider to offer an open platform and flexibility to tailor the program to the specific hardware, technical and operational needs of a major metropolitan rail system.

Following the extensive trial of the video safety solution, during which LA Metro noted improvements in rail safety, the agency issued a comprehensive RFP for its bus and rail lines. SmartRail World recognized L.A. Metro’s proof of concept with its SmartRail Innovation Award for Project of the Year in 2015.

SmartDrive Rail was initially released in 2015 and the issuance of a U.S. Patent number 9,296,401 B1 for its unique triggering capability was also announced on Monday. The platform leverages the video analytics platform used by LA Metro’s bus fleet, modified with additional hardware and cabling that comply with stringent rail regulatory requirements.

The agency’s deployment, which is expected to grow from the initial 315 railcars to more than 560 over the next five years, takes advantage of rail-specific triggering and observation scoring to ensure the video-safety program supports compliance with government regulations and standard operating procedures across Metro’s rail fleet, in addition to providing an accurate measurement of risk for rail.

LA Metro’s railcar installation also takes advantage of SmartDrive’s split camera design, which provides the flexibility to install the cab-facing camera to ensure the best of view of the operator and control panel, enabling management to understand actual rail car equipment operation and compliance with standard operating procedures.

In addition to capturing collisions and near collisions, SmartDrive Rail captures high-risk operations including passing “red-over-red” and bar signals, “deadman,” automatic train protection (ATP) overspeed, ATP bypass active, improper stop at the station and penalty stops. SmartDrive Rail also includes a random trigger for compliance audit purposes and up to eight days of continuous video recording.

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