The system, which combines electro-optic sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies, facilitates the automatic detection and classification of obstacles during shunting and measures the remaining distance between vehicles, enabling a single person to carry out shunting without the need for a signaller.

The system also comes with a remote control capability developed in collaboration with Schweizer Electronic, which allows shunting to be carried out from a remote location.

“These systems offer a promising avenue to further support operators in managing their fleets, and they are a building block in realising the future scenario of automatic train operation (ATO),” says Dr Nicolas Lange, chairman of the management board at Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems.

Testing of the prototype is expected to be completed at the end of the first quarter of 2021, after which the partners will begin investigating additional business opportunities for the system.

“As several freight operators are anticipating personnel shortages in the coming years, Rail Vision’s products can contribute to increasing operational efficiency after a more widespread rollout,” says Mr Andreas Hefti, managing director at Knorr-Bremse Switzerland.