SEJONG, Jan. 17 (Korea Bizwire) — The South Korean government will use cutting-edge technology such as drones and the Internet of Things to improve the safety of the nation’s railway network.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has introduced a comprehensive white paper outlining technology projects over the next ten years, including the installation of an IoT sensor-based real time monitoring system and a safety warning system using virtual reality and augmented reality.
The announcement is in line with the transport ministry’s push to reduce railway accidents from 7.5 to 3.7 cases per 100 million kilometers by 2027, and cut the death toll from rail accidents in half.
“Though the number of rail accidents and the death toll have been declining steadily, the rate of decrease has reached a limit, making it difficult for conventional methods alone to further ensure safety. As a result, we adopted a new safety management plan,” a transport ministry official said.
The rail safety white paper includes 24 projects in six main fields including the management of vehicles, facilities, people, danger, operations, and security.
To begin with, key train compartments will be equipped with IoT sensors for authorities to identify issues such as cracks, abrasion, and overheating, all of which have the potential to cause accidents.
Drones will be dispatched based on data from the sensors to improve the monitoring efforts of the railway network, while training programs on VR and AR technologies will be trialed to train staff for emergencies.
New technology is also in the works to study train engineers’ biorhythms, which can be an indicator of dangerous health problems such as fatigue and tiredness.
Big data will also play a crucial role in analyzing accident statistics and maintaining vehicles, compartments, and facilities, providing critical information to be used in an accident prevention system scheduled to be developed by the end of the year.
Under the new plan, a smartphone app that shares schedules of train operations and maintenance work between drivers and other staffers will be developed for more effective communication, while a 3D map for main railway stations will be drafted to counteract terror attacks and crimes.