Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Train Safety Update - after reviewing crash in Italy

Regarding this accident.
Official: 20 Dead in Head-On Train Crash in Southern Italy

I had another idea to improve train safety.  Before I get into it let me note that my last post referred to an mobile app for safety.  Also that I lived near a railroad crossing growing up and trains destroyed cars on three occasions near my house, twice happening to people we know.

So here is another technical safety idea.  Simply create a light weight robotic train scout that rides on the tracks far enough ahead to be able to report back any conditions that might require the train to stop.  The scout would have to be light and small and be able to stop rapidly in the event a car is on the railroad tracks but it would be designed to not be deadly if it did strike a car at a railroad crossing, or a pedestrian perhaps via airbags.  The robotic scout would report back:

  1. Live video feed for the conductor. (Imagine a herd of cattle on tracks)
  2. The track conditions, preventing derailment.
  3. That upcoming street crossing were clear and barriers were in place.
  4. That no other scout or train is heading straight for them.
  5.  And it could report conditions to a mobile phone app used by the passengers.