begiCROSSING© is the technology behind the Euskal Tranbide Sarea’s (ETS) project that has been awarded in the 2018 edition of the Quality Innovation Awards (QIA) in Euskadi and will be one of the finalists for the international QIA that take place next February in Beijing. The awards, celebrated annually since 2007 and organised by Excellence Finland, seek to highlight innovative projects developed by companies and organizations, to allow them to compare their efforts with others, and to give local and international recognition to the most innovative initiatives.
The main objective of begiCROSSING©, the innovative solution on which this awarded project is based, is the early detection of incidents at railway level-crossings. It has been developed in collaboration with Euskal Trenbide Sarea and is part of Begirale’s approach to improve critical processes through the selective application of technology, in this case aimed at enabling prevention and increasing people’s safety.
Intelligent vision system to alert of risk situations
The technology on which begiCROSSING© is based is called Video Content Analysis, an intelligent vision system capable of analyzing and alerting of different risk situations. This software combines artificial intelligence and vision techniques and algorithms to interpret video streaming and generate relevant information about its content. “This technology uses artificial vision to secure processes, infrastructures, people … and it is applicable to multitude fields, from obstacle detection for level crossings to fire warning applications for industrial plants”, explains Iñigo Zorriketa, head of Begirale, the Artificial Vision Unit at Dominion.
The begiCROSSING© solution uses this technology to detect and report incidents caused by the obstruction of railways or by the failure of any of the safety elements of the level crossing structure.
An already proven solution
To prove its effectiveness, ETS and Begirale started a pilot project in 2015 which after several months of developments met the demanding requirements of the Basque railway infrastructure manager. In 2016 this version of the product was implemented in different points of the Basque railway network and analysed during nine months, with conclusive results: between May 2017 and August 2018 more than 165,000 convoys circulated through these sections and generated nearly a thousand incidents, 100% were resolved successfully.
“This system has been already implemented successfully in 12 level crossings and, in addition to notifying any incident to the control center, it can also give an automatic order to stop the train. It is the most advanced technology for this type of applications “, adds Iñigo Zorriketa.
This technology is part of Begirale’s innovative approach to improve a process that is considered critical by every railway operator: according to the International Union of Railways 25% of the accidents occur at level crossings. begiCROSSING© represents a new step towards safer transport systems globally; in Spain there are about 3,500 level crossings; 400,000 in Europe, and 450,000 in the United States.