The begiCROSSING intelligent computer vision system, developed by Begirale Controlling Risk, the area specialized in artificial vision of DOMINION, expands its presence to another six level crossings of the Basque railway infrastructure manager, Euskal Trenbide Sarea (ETS) with the objective of improving safety at these critical points, where the railway interacts with road vehicles and pedestrians. This measure joins those already taken in the last two years in which begiCROSSING was successfully installed in twelve level crossings of the Basque railway network.
On this occasion the six level crossings chosen, Hendaye (line Donostia-Hendaye), Basauri (line Bilbao-Donostia), Bérriz (line Bilbao-Donostia), Zugastieta (line Bilbao-Donostia), Ermua (line Bilbao-Donostia) and Erandio (line Lutxana-Sondika ), will have this innovative system that will monitor the level crossings and generate warnings and alarms that will be transmitted both to the management system installed at the control center and to the level crossing protection system, so that it can act on the signaling systems of the crossing modifying its signal and alerting the train driver of the existence of an incident. With these new installations, there are already eighteen level crossings that have this state-of-the-art surveillance system: seven on the Bilbao-Donostia line, six on the Amorebieta and Bermeo line, three on Donostia-Hendaia line and two on the Lutxana-Sondika line.
This anomaly and incident detection system is based on the analysis of real-time video signals. This will require the installation of a video camera that capture the level crossing area. The captured video is processed in real time and allow to determine alterations in the normal sequences of operation of the level crossing or of the road-traffic that crosses it, determining an alarm or event in case of detecting any risk situation. These are sent to the control centre and, depending on the cause, are used as an additional element for incident management. In addition, the level crossing signaling system receives the alarm and manage it based on the status of the crossing.
International ‘Best practice’ technology recognized with a Quality Innovation Award
Last year begiCROSSING was identified as one of the international level ‘best practices’ to improve the safety of level crossings, according to the report ‘Analysis of level crossing safety in Europe and beyond’ carried out in the framework of the European Project SAFER-LC, executed by a research consortium of which 17 organizations (universities, technology centers, railway operators, railway infrastructure managers, …) from ten countries.
Additionally, Euskal Trenbide Sarea (ETS) was awarded in the last edition of the Quality Innovation Awards (QIA), celebrated in Beijing, for the use of begiCROSSING technology in 12 of their level crossings with outstanding results: between May 2017 and August 2018, more than 165,000 convoys circulated through this level crossings, about a thousand incidents were identified and 100% were resolved satisfactorily.
“With the recent expansion, this system is already successfully implemented in 18 level crossing in ETS, and in addition to notifying the control center of any incident, it automatically order trains to stop. It is a pioneering technology in the world”, explains Begirale’s director, Iñigo Zorriketa.
A cutting-edge technology that shows greater reliability than traditional systems
begiCROSSING is based on the use of video content analysis technologies that allows you to analyze video automatically to determine temporary events not based on a single image. As such, it can be considered as the automated equivalent of the biological visual cortex. This facilitates the early detection of incidents at railroad level crossings, caused by obstruction of the crossing area or by failure of any of the protection elements of the level crossing. It is a technological tool aimed at contributing to improve security through the early detection of situations that may generate risks, damages, or accidents in the worst case.
Tests carried out recently, comparing the traditional “inductive loop” technology for obstacle detection at level crossings and begiCROSSING, during six months in two level crossings, show remarkable results: with more than 5,000 trains and 100,000 vehicles, begiCROSSING has have demonstrated to be much more reliable than the old electromagnetic based detection system, which has been adopted for years as the “standard” level crossing Obstacle Detection technology in the world.