INTERVIEW

EXCELLENT COOPERATION

MICHAEL FISCHER

Head of Engineering for Trams and Light Rail Vehicles at Bombardier Transportation.

Mr Fischer, Bombardier has developed a new driver assistance system together with AIT. What will trams be capable of in future?

The next generation of trams will be even more efficient, innovative and safer. Reco- gnising dangerous situations and avoiding collisions is only the first step. New and im- proved computer vision processes should be able to do more. Adding 3D cameras and sen- sors should also help raise efficiency and support fleet and track management.


How big is the market already?

The Frankfurt am Main municipal transport company (VGF) has already bought 148 of the- se driver assistance systems to equip each of the FLEXITY trams operating in Frankfurt. On

26 June 2015 our jointly developed system was also the first driver assistance system of its kind worldwide to be approved by the TAB, Germany’s Technical Supervisory Body. We are also currently in negotiation with other customers. Demand is high because trans- port companies want to make their trams safer for all road users.


What are the tangible advantages offered by AIT’s 3D technology?

The system developed together with AIT helps the tram driver to assess critical situa- tions and react accordingly. This increases the active safety of passengers, tram drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. The specially devel- oped 3D sensor system makes the trams more proactive, intelligent and therefore safer for everyone on the roads.


How is your collaboration with AIT?

Our collaboration with AIT is excellent. AIT and Bombardier Transportation complement one another. AIT provides know-how in 3D stereovision technologies, and we contribute expertise in trams and excellent customer contacts.


How would you evaluate AIT’s innovative ca- pabilities in general?

In April 2015 I took part in a panel discussion held at the exhibition ‘Seeing and understan- ding, images aid decision-making’. Research projects in image processing and visualisati- on were presented at the event: the range of subject areas and level of enthusiasm were both impressive.