France-based IRT SystemX has collaborated with SNCF and Alstom to launch the safe autonomous land transport project, which aims to test the application of technology designed to automate train drivers' observation functions.
IRT will provide the scientific support required to carry out the 24-month project, which will draw on the expertise of the Technological University of Compiègne (UTC).
The solution will be tested virtually in a laboratory setting via total modelling and will combine various pieces of sensory equipment, while also offering a new artificial intelligence (AI) capability.
SystemX managing director Eric Perrin-Pelletier said: “The integrated multi-stakeholder research model that makes up the essence of the IRTs is perfect for this type of project, which requires scientific support with a view to industrialisation.
“Our agility and speed of execution will enable us to produce an automaton in less than 18 months, then carry out its functional demonstration on site within 24 months at most.”
IRT said that the functions of observation are vital to the safe operation of a transportation system, helping to distinguish between road signs, as well as spot pedestrians on platforms, monitor defects on a passing train, and also recognise objects on tracks with high-operational security levels.
The project is aimed at designing a system of environmental perception based on a combination of complementary sensors such as radars and lidar cameras.
The system and its environment will initially be modelled in a laboratory to test the technological choice criteria of the sensors, and preliminary virtual validation will be carried out using an iterative approach.
Life-sized site tests are also set to be conducted on a SNCF locomotive between Villeneuve Saint-Georges and Montereau at a later date.
Image: IRT will provide the scientific support that is required to carry out the 24-month project. Photo: courtesy of anaelb.com/ IRT SystemX.