Case Study: Transport for Wales

CASE STUDY

Transport for Wales

Facing an ongoing and growing challenge of managing trackside vegetation to improve seasonal resilience and operational and safety performance, TfW were searching for innovative solutions to help them meet those challenges.

OBC were able to rapidly deploy AIVR onto operational trains to collect and provide an unprecedented amount of high quality video data from across the network. TfW and NR partners were able to access the data instantly online and work collaboratively, both before and throughout lockdown, to respond to the vegetation conditions.

CLIENT

Transport for Wales (TfW)

TECH

AWS Cloud, Android Edge Devices, Deep learning video analytics for foliage classification, React

IMPACT

Successful operational trial leading to a contract for AIVR to be deployed continually across TfW routes

The Challenge

In September 2019 at their regular Vegetation Management & Safety Working Group, Transport for Wales Rail Services (TfW) were considering the challenges they faced in understanding the volume and rate of lineside vegetation and growth, and what technology may be available to help in their management of this.
In the same month, One Big Circle presented their innovative AIVR video solution for the rail industry to the audience at the Rail Innovation Group Meet-up held at The Engine Shed in Bristol. Representatives of TfW saw the presentation and the connection between the two organisations was made.

The Solution

Following an initial demonstration to the TfW Working Group in October a four-week trial was agreed. One Big Circle supplied one of their AIVR-Go devices and TfW supplied the resource to deploy the device onto their operational trains. This was manged by working closely with the Driver Training Managers to place the device in the cabs on selected routes.

The AIVR-Go device, positioned in moments in the windscreen of any class vehicle, would collect video data whilst on the move. The target was to map as much of the Wales and Borders routes within the month. A TfW online dashboard was commissioned to enable the key stakeholders to view the data rapidly throughout the trial.

The Outcome

Within four weeks all accessible routes had been covered by the AIVR-Go and all data had been transmitted by 4G to be instantly accessible online via secure AIVR log-in details. The successful trial enabled seasonal planning management and other members of the team to see the condition of the vegetation and start to categorise encroaching vegetation as Red and Amber alert to direct resources accordingly. In addition, by collecting this valuable data the footage began to be used for detecting signals at fault, driver route familiarisation.


A contract was agreed commencing at the start of 2020 with two AIVR devices deployed across the network to continually capture data and make it available to TfW users and their partners enabling them to see what their trains can see and respond accordingly for safer and more efficient working practices.

Feedback

 “We first saw this technology in September and were so impressed that we commissioned a trial to cover all routes. We’re the first train operator in the UK to deploy the AIVR system on our routes and we’re delighted to be at forefront of using this innovative technology. With management of the Core Valley Lines infrastructure shortly coming under TfW we really think this could make a huge difference to the way we respond to create massive customer, safety and performance benefits.” 
– Leyton Powell, Transport for Wales Safety and Assurance Director