DB Cargo: Camera bridges help diagnose freight trains

DB Cargo: Camera bridges help diagnose freight trains

Camera bridges have been introduced in Germany to capture images of passing freight trains for better diagnosis of their technical condition. In the future, artificial intelligence is expected to support the diagnosis.

Last year, camera bridge technology for diagnosing the technical condition of freight wagons was successfully tested as part of the European Shift2Rail funding program. At the end of the year, these bridges were established across Germany. The camera bridges work by creating images of passing vehicles from different perspectives. Employees then use these images to order the necessary service, which is then carried out in DB Cargo's plants.

As part of another research and development project funded by the European Shift2Rail program, the images from the camera bridges were used to automatically analyze the trucks, for example, the thickness of the brake pads. The project then carried out tests to see how artificial intelligence could help diagnose vehicles. The tests included benchmarking measurements to evaluate the usability of the system and, in particular, the support provided by AI designs for preventive brake pad replacement. 

The aim of the AI is to assist staff in the technical analysis of the vehicle's condition so that they can then specify accurate and high-quality maintenance. Testing has demonstrated the feasibility of using AI in the vehicle reporting process. It has been shown that the system can be used in the process and that it simplifies the diagnosis with additional information. The next step is to further optimize the model so that it can be integrated into the standard rail freight process.

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