Israel Railways, in cooperation with Rail Safe, is developing a smart system to detect objects on the tracks in order to improve travel safety. The system, the first in the world of its kind, uses a thermal sensor that can detect objects, classify them in real time, and warn the driver long enough before a collision with the object occurs.
Rail Safe, founded by former employees at Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. and Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT) subsidiary El-Op, began developing the system 18 months ago, after realizing that all the world's railway companies needed such a system. The company believes that the potential market for the product amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
Through 2015, Israel Railways has recorded 12 incidents in which trains hit trespassers (vehicles and pedestrians) on the railway tracks. While the human eye can see only up to 200 meters, the sensor can detect objects up to a distance of three kilometers.
Israel Railways is currently in the midst of a railway electrification project, in which railways will switch from diesel fuel to electric power. This transition will make it possible to increase the trains' speed from 130-140 kilometers per hour to 160 kilometers per hour. When the speed increases, it takes more time for the trains to stop when braked, and the need for the safety system increases.
Israel Railways vice director general business development Nir Raz said, "In this cooperation, Israel Railways is taking part for the first time in developing a technologically innovative product in railway safety in order to reduce accidents with trespassers and put Israel ahead in the field of railway safety. The project is part of a new channel for the development of railway technological innovation in combination with high tech sectors and its implementation in the railway sector."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 5, 2015
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