OBC’s Emily Kent Discusses Intelligent Video Tech in Rail’s Digital Era

Global Railway Review talks to Emily Kent, Co-Founder of One Big Circle, about how intelligent video technology can be utilised in the rail sector as it continues its journey to digitalisation. The Q&A touches on OBC’s journey to entering the rail sector, their collaborations with Network Rail and Transport for Wales, and the benefits that Automated Intelligent Video Review system (AIVR) provides to the rail industry.

OBC developed expertise in intelligent video from critical video systems work with UK Highways and the development of a sports replay video platform. Exploring the benefits video could provide in solving challenges faced by the rail industry, a prototype of AIVR was developed in 2019. The lightweight, portable device for automatically capturing and uploading forward facing video data via 4G to the cloud was quickly adopted by Network Rail for a trial.

Following this success, AIVR was deployed in late 2019 by Transport for Wales and covered the whole Wales rail network in under four weeks. Continued use of AIVR captures up-to-date data, with all historical data available to view, helping to track changes in condition over time. Development of a Machine Learning model to detect vegetation posing risks is also under way and being trained on the captured data.

Use of AIVR for railway condition monitoring and virtual track access is reducing boots on ballast, improving the safety of workers. The insights gained from the data can inform targeted and responsive maintenance works, increasing the efficiency of operations in rail.

Read the full Q&A here to find out more about AIVR’s remote monitoring capabilities.