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Vortex IoT to provide a fully operational RODIO-TSM to Network Rail by March 2021

Posted: 21 July 2020 | | No comments yet

Vortex IoT is set to provide a fully operational and validated RODIO-TSM product – the Rail Optical Detection of Intrusions and Obstructions – Tunnel and Station Monitoring solution – to be demonstrated on Network Rail’s infrastructure by March 2021.

Vortex IoT to provide a fully operational RODIO-TSM to Network Rail by March 2021

The RODIO-TSM can accurately detect, differentiate and classify rail intrusions on rail infrastructure.

Completed as part of the First of a Kind 2020 Rail Innovation Programme, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and delivered by Innovate UK in partnership with Knowledge Transfer Network, Vortex IoT has acknowledged the increasing demand for high availability of rail infrastructure and rolling stock assets for rail passenger journeys and freight customers.

In these current uncertain times, investment in rail is a clear route to economic regeneration; making journeys safer and more appealing for passengers to restore public trust in rail, enabling operators to deliver services more efficiently, boosting Britain’s decarbonisation agenda and positioning national rail networks, operators and suppliers as world-leading now and into the future.

Working in partnership with Network Rail, Balfour Beatty and Transport for Wales (TfW), on 1 July 2020 Vortex IoT started a new and improved RODIO-TSM project – the Rail Optical Detection of Intrusions and Obstructions – Tunnel and Station Monitoring solution. The first stages of the new developments will focus on key software components and artificial intelligence (AI) training including implementing and testing RODIO-TSM on a Network Rail test track. Following this, RODIO-TSM will complete a one-month live trial with RIDC in November 2020, followed by a live three-month trial in Bargoed, Wales, with the goal to launch in March 2021.

Adrian Sutton, CEO and Founder of award-winning Welsh technology SME, Vortex IoT, said: “As a partnership, we’re looking forward to working closely with Network Rail, Balfour Beatty and Transport for Wales to deliver an outstanding product that will play a part in transforming UK rail by reducing rail closures as well improving safety across the network.”

RODIO-TSM uses data fusion and deep learning classifiers to identify intrusion and obstruction types and severities aiming for high recall and high precision against false alarms.

RODIO-TSM uses data fusion and deep learning classifiers to identify intrusion and obstruction types and severities aiming for high recall and high precision against false alarms. The system can accurately detect, differentiate and classify intrusions – human and animal movements, obstructions – rock fall, tree fall, brick fall, debris fall and geotechnical asset failures – localised rapid earthworks, flooding and landslides, and then sends real-time situational alerts to the rail control centre to prompt further investigation as an advisory system, in turn improving safety across a rail network, reducing rail closures as well as decreasing costs across the rail industry.

Pete Ellis, Principal Engineer at Network Rail’s Research and Innovation Development Centre, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to once again assist Vortex IoT to further develop their (RODIO) LiDAR sensor and AI infrastructure monitoring system. I am excited to see how this technology can be extended to monitor, and be mounted to, other assets such as bridges and tunnels; and also to understand the benefits that it will contribute towards helping to keep our network operating safely and reliably for passengers and freight users.”

Leading Vortex IoT’s highly-skilled team to deliver this project is award-winning Computer Scientist and Vortex IoT’s CTO, Behzad Heravi. Working with Senior Project Manager, Aidan Fyans, Dr Vijay Rao, Senior R&D Engineer as well as an expert team of software engineers and developers, Vortex IoT’s ambition is to improve on the first generation RODIO® which was funded by a previous Innovate UK project (2018-2019). Since the original product launch, there has been a strong rail stakeholder appetite including the Belgian infrastructure manager, Infrabel, the Austrian infrastructure manager, ÖBB, Etihad Rail, TransNamib, MAV in Hungary, the Saudi Railway Company (SAR), Qatar Rail and Transport for Wales.

Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said: “These high quality projects illustrate the appetite of UK organisations to develop new and exciting innovations for rail transport that improve customers’ user experience, that optimise railway efficiency, and are environmentally sustainable.”

To hear more from Vortex IoT about their RODIO-TSM solution, join Global Railway Review’s Online Industry Summit, taking place on 29 & 30 July 2020. Co-sponsored by Vortex IoT, this two-day online event will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing the railway industry, with expert speakers confirmed from all over the world. To view the speaker line-up, programme and to register your attendance, please click here.

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