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UITP: Bombardier presents new Driver Assistance system for Trams and Light Rail

COMPAS uses both visual camera data as well as digital track data I Bombardier

It seems that very soon, accidents and collisions between trams, pedestrians and cars will be a thing of the past. During the UITP in Stockholm which took place from 9-12 June 2019, Bombardier presented its’ latest innovation – a collision and overspeed monitoring and prevention system – the so-called COMPAS. Collisions with 3rd parties have always been the most common accident scenario in tram operation, especially for street-running trams. COMPAS combines two driver assistance functions. Firstly, it is a vision-based over-speed prevention based on digital track data and visual odometry to prevent the vehicle from exceeding its pre-defined speed limits. Secondly, it uses an automated obstacle detection assistance system with cameras and an integrated controller which is giving the driver a warning signal and in emergency situations a brake impulse. COMPAS has been designed in such a way that the driver always maintains full control over the vehicle. COMPAS is based on Bombardier’s Obstacle Detection Assistance System (ODAS) which the company has been developing several years ago as a first in the industry.

All 74 Flexity Classic Trams (locally named type “S”) have already been fitted with the ODAS driver assistance system

The first S-type tram in Frankfurt/Main was tested with the system in Q2/2014. After the test phase, ODAS received the authorisation in June 2015 – a world premiere. Subsequently, ODAS has been installed in all 74 Bombardier S-type trams in 2016 and 2017. ODAS is already in use in Blackpool and will also be used in Zurich, Duisburg and Brussels. According to the company, the interest from operators is extremely high.

Bombardier developed both systems together with the research partner AIT, the Austrian Institute of Technology, and Mission Embedded, an Austrian IT-design firm which is part of the Frequentis group. Christian Diewald, Managing Director of Bombardier Transportation in Austria, said: “We have completed the development phase of COMPAS and will shortly start the operational evaluation in two existing vehicle fleets. I am especially happy that we are testing this safety innovation in the new vehicles for our customer Wiener Linien in Austria, but also with our customer in Blackpool, UK.” Bombardier expects that COMPAS will achieve commercial service authorisation by mid-2020, with additional functions, such as increased vehicle autonomy enabling automated operation in depots, planned to for future integration.