Smart Transportation —
Smart Railway Intergration System
A-MTK Co., Ltd.
- Taiwan-based manufacturer and designer for cutting-edge surveillance equipment observant of modern technological concepts, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- High-standard equipment that observes ONVIF profiles G, Q, S, and T
- A trusted equipment provider for the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA)
The A-MTK company, founded in 2006, is a manufacturer and provider for surveillance cameras, encompassing a wide range of functions. Its policy to base manufacturing, as well as research and development, of its products in Taiwan, resulted in the company retaining a robust and experienced crew of engineers. This has directly contributed to the company’s capability, both it is early years when working with original equipment manufacturing (OEM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) orders, and when managing tender requests over the last three years, to provide customizability of hardware, software and machine composition on demand.
A-MTK has also kept up with technological trends. Answering the development of the IoT concept, greater demand for peer-to-peer (P2P) “Smart Home” platforms in 2016, A-MTK designed and produced its own P2P IP camera products, compatible with the platform-as-a-service (PAAS) and systems-as-a-service (SAAS) models for cloud services. In 2017, the company incorporated the Artificial Intelligence (AI) concept and developed its own Edge AI IP cameras. The company’s IP cameras have also recently been certified that it supports the G, Q, S, and T ONVIF profiles.
These products, as well as the company’s expertise, form the mainstay of solutions provided, such as its services for the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA).
Providing the TRA with Pantograph Surveillance
The TRA has long been plagued with issues of pantographs coming loose, or breaking apart, culminating in further delays of railway transportation services.
The main problem to be resolved was that the TRA had been determining whether a pantograph needed maintenance by eye, which did not lend itself to the accuracy of estimation, nor could such a method of deliberation provide the TRA sufficient forewarning to conduct maintenance or repairs.
The A-MTK provided cameras to remotely view the pantographs and thus determine whether repairs or maintenance was needed.
The solution resolved two main problems that confronted the TRA. Firstly, the TRA required instant high-speed snapshots of the pantograph as the train, which went anywhere between 60km per hour (kmph) and 150kmph, passed the area. The image must be clear, focused, and undistorted, to facilitate its reception by the auto-image recognition software.
Secondly, as pantographs serve to convey the power to the trains, its proximity to high-pressure voltage would usually fry any other electric device. A-MTK’s IP cameras, however, had been designed specifically to protect device circuitry from overcharge, whether this is due to overvoltage, or from electric discharge from thunderstorms.
IP and Thermal Cams to Monitor Rail Obstacles and Track Heat Levels
Railway crossings constitute the area where accidents occur most frequently and the TRA hoped to cut down on such incidents by installing a railway crossing obstacle monitor system at 293 railway crossings across the nation. The idea was floated in 2016, and A-MTK obtained the bid in 2018. The project is expected to wrap up by the end of 2020.
The solution would help the TRA scan and recognize all obstacles on railway tracks immediately after the crossing guardrail has been lowered, including pedestrians, cars, rocks, purses or bags, and other items, and could alert the TRA’s monitoring stations in-real-time.
At crossings where there are no crossing guardrails, A-MTk systems will consult TRA-provided train information on when they should arrive at the station and issue in-real-time obstacle detection and warnings, which is to b conveyed to the train driver by the TRA monitoring station.
A-MTK was the sole provider for IP cameras for the project, aimed towards detecting obstacles on railway tracks as well as monitoring rail heat levels,.
A-MTK’s background in systems research and design was a point in their favor, as the project would require integration of A-MTK devices with the thermal imaging software using US-based FLIR Systems products.
This would help the TRA track the average temperature of the railway tracks, and the system would issue an alert should railway track temperatures exceed the pre-set sum, allowing the TRA to dispatch crews to cool the tracks and prevent track warping from high heat.
Following a stabbing spree on the Taipei Metro in 2014, the TRA recognized the necessity of installing in-car surveillance systems, which would lead to quicker TRA reaction time in similar future incidents and increase TRA security on the trains, as the system would deter pickpocketing, robbing or sexual harassment incidents.
TRA trains, regardless of service age, have now been outfitted with A-MTK IP cameras that are in full compliance with EN50155, EN50121, and EN0068 standards under the Bureau Veritas. Each car is outfitted with 2 sets of IP cameras and a network video recorder, all of which are shock-resistant.
Previously, in the incident that the emergency button was pressed, the conductor – the TRA usually only stations one per car – will have no way of knowing what happened, and whether or not it would be considered urgent enough to stop the train.
Specifically wired into the TRA trains’ emergency system, the surveillance system and devices would be operated off-site by the TRA crew, who will alert train conductors to what has transpired and aid them in the decision-making process.
A-MTK is also planning to establish data centers for the TRA, and potentially include “smart imaging systems, allowing the TRA to better manage all video feeds.
- Shock-resistant camera with integrated circuitry capable of withstanding high-voltage or high electric discharge environments while maintaining the ability to take clear, focused, and undistorted, images.
- IP and Thermal cameras to apprise train monitors of potential obstacles on rail tracks and potential railway overheating, increasing railway security, and facilitating TRA ability to sustain a timely service record.
- Compatible with multiple software systems, allowing a versatile range of equipment that could be adapted to different situations
- Full customizability of hardware, software, and machine composition on request, bringing clients the best possible solution for their situation.