April 9, 2024

De Lijn works on safer trams with OTIV and CAF

Safety in traffic is always a priority for De Lijn. They are currently investing in multiple initiatives to increase the safety of tram traffic: construction of their vehicles, signalization at tram crossings, awareness campaigns, driver training, etc. In a project with OTIV and tram manufacturer CAF, they are going one step further. Innovative and smart assistance systems are being tested to further improve tram safety.

On the Coastal Tram, the world's longest tram line, sensors have been installed that record everything around the tram. The Coastal Tram is an ideal place for these tests because of the different traffic situations it passes through, such as city centers and busy areas along the coast.

"The technology that will be tested combines sensors with data analysis and artificial intelligence to scan the environment of the vehicles. It displays and analyzes in real time the behavior of, for example, pedestrians, cyclists and cars, and can thus predict possible dangers and help the tram (driver) make the best decision. Together with De Lijn, we are very interested in this technology because safety is a top priority for us."
- Lydia Peeters, Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works

The collaboration with OTIV, a start-up based in Ghent, allows De Lijn to test new technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of its trams.

"At De Lijn, we are constantly open to new developments in the tram sector, with safety as an absolute priority. Our collaboration with OTIV offers an excellent opportunity to make use of AI technologies and increase our knowledge to further improve safety. These experiences will help us in future tenders, where we aim to implement a collision warning system to support our drivers on our vehicles."
- Philippe Le Cerf, CIO at De Lijn:

The project began in the summer of 2023 and will continue until after next summer. Different scenarios are currently being evaluated to see how quickly the sensors can detect danger and how the software can help improve driver reaction time. In this testing phase, the sensors collect data without providing direct feedback to the tram driver at this time. CAF (manufacturer of the Zeeliner) is involved in this project because of their experience in integrating different systems.

This collaboration is valuable for all parties involved. It allows De Lijn, OTIV and CAF to gain better insights into how these systems can help prevent incidents. For OTIV, the results of the project provide valuable information to further optimize their algorithms.

"Collaborating with De Lijn and CAF is a match made in heaven. The opportunity for all parties to validate the value of our innovations is immeasurable."
- Sam De Smet, Co-founder of OTIV