China-based urban rail transit signalling system provider FITSCO and Cognitive Pilot have partnered to develop an AI-based computer vision system to be used on trams.

Cognitive Pilot is a joint venture of Russia’s Sberbank and Cognitive Technologies Group for autonomous driving technology.

Under the contract, the companies will also explore the options to provide autonomous tram control and movement.

FITSCO CEO Jack Wu said: “The new technology will reduce the number of transport accidents in the city and will minimise their dependence on the human factor.”

The project will include R&D, testing and commercialisation stages, which will be carried out with the business expedition and technology innovation.

Cognitive Pilot CEO Olga Uskova said: “The implementation of all stages will be facilitated with all the ongoing projects.

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By GlobalData

“The result of the project’s first stages will be the development of AI-based Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).

“In the absence of a proper reaction from the driver, the tram will automatically control its speed and will brake in front of the obstacles. During all the upcoming tests, the tram operator will still be in the cab, but he will act as a safety controller.”

Wu added that after the successful implementation of the project, the companies will aim to boost the level of AI in the tram autopilot and showcase the fully autonomous prototype in the future.

In October last year, a consortium led by Siemens Mobility planned to participate in a fully automated tram depot research project in Potsdam, Germany.