New partnership established to improve safety at high-traffic railway level crossings


Cepton, a Silicon Valley-based provider of smart lidar solutions has teamed up with Lithuania-based system integrator Belam to improve road user and rail passenger safety by deploying lidar-enabled obstacle detection at railway level crossings.

Following the installation of Cepton’s Helius Smart Lidar System at a busy railway intersection in Europe, the solution has monitored more than 15,000 train passages with high accuracy to help ensure the safety of pedestrians and other road users. The system has also helped improve the efficiency of the train service and the traffic flow where it is deployed.

Utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as lidar, Belam, a full-service system integrator delivers advanced solutions to transform smart cities by improving the safety and efficiency of transportation infrastructure and railway systems. Through its partnership with Cepton, Belam was able to deliver accurate obstacle detection at a busy rail intersection, with an automated system that minimized unnecessary stops. As a result, the traffic flow at the intersection has become more efficient.

As lidars perform well at night and in various environmental conditions, the Vista-P90 lidars deployed as part of the Helius system outperformed other technologies tested in generating high-resolution 3D imaging of vehicles, people and other objects, 24 hours a day. Helius perception software processed the lidar data to accurately classify objects and track their speeds and locations in real time.

Integrated together with other sensors, including CCTV cameras used for recording license plates during traffic violations, and meteorological sensors used to determine weather conditions, Cepton’s lidar solutions enabled an intelligent railway crossing by providing the key information needed to deliver traffic analytics and trigger the appropriate responses to help save lives.

As a result, Belam’s system has achieved an accuracy of more than 99.9% in obstacle detection. This level of accuracy has enabled the level crossing to achieve a higher safety rating, where passing trains are now allowed to pass at almost twice the speed as they used to.

Visualization of Belam’s obstacle detection system scanning area – dangerous zone on the level crossing. Image: Belam

Powered by Cepton’s patented MMT (Micro Motion Technology), the Vista-P90 lidar offers a wide field of view coverage (90° horizontal x 40° vertical), along with high resolution and long range. The sensor is rotation-free, frictionless, and mirrorless, making it rugged and capable of continuous, outdoor applications, even in harsh weather conditions. With multi-lidar aggregation, edge computing and a low-bandwidth data output, the Helius smart lidar system is easy to integrate, scale up and maintain.

According Cepton, the partnership opens new applications for lidar-enabled smart cities. The smart rail crossings can extend into a complete V2X solution, where not only trains, but also cars can use the real-time traffic data at the intersections to avoid potential collisions and optimize travel routes. Road authorities could also benefit from traffic analytics based on the number of vehicles and road users and the directions in which they travel across the intersections to generate models and plans for traffic management.

Aleksandras Zidokas, business director at Belam, said, “Our partnership with Cepton has helped us demonstrate the tremendous potential of lidar technology in smart transportation infrastructure. In addition to making railway intersections safer for road users, our lidar-enabled system also brought about marked improvement in the traffic flow.”

Dr Jun Pei, CEO of Cepton added, “Lidar enables a higher level of safety for everyone on the road, not just drivers, and we built our lidar solutions to achieve that goal. Our partnership with Belam enables the next generation of rail and road safety applications and extends the capabilities of our high performance lidars and perception solutions into the rail market. We look forward to a deeper collaboration with Belam to make safer rail traffic a reality.”

Share this story:

About Author