Indian Railways has initiated the installation of AI-based cameras equipped with ‘Crew Fatigue Sensing’ devices inside crew cabins of trains. This initiative is currently underway in trains falling under the Vijayawada Division of South-Central Railway.
The primary objective of these cameras is to detect signs of drowsiness and alertness among loco pilots, crucial personnel responsible for train operations. The AI-powered cameras will continuously monitor live feeds from the crew cabin and trigger an alarm if it detects any signs of the loco pilot falling asleep or engaging in activities that breach safety rules.
This decision comes in response to recent accidents caused by loco pilots unknowingly falling asleep during duty hours. In one such incident on June 25 at Ondagram station in West Bengal, a freight train collision occurred due to the loco pilot’s drowsiness, leading to dismissals from service. To address such issues, the AI cameras serve as proactive measures to prevent accidents caused by lapses in alertness.
The implementation of these cameras is met with resistance from loco pilots, who argue that they are already working overtime. However, the railway authorities emphasize the importance of ensuring the well-being and alertness of loco pilots to maintain the highest standards of safety in train operations.
The cameras not only act as a monitoring tool but also serve as evidence in case of any breaches of safety protocols. If the cameras detect loco pilots falling asleep or using mobile phones during duty hours, the individuals may face department-level actions, including the possibility of dismissal from service.
This innovative use of AI technology underscores Indian Railways’ commitment to leveraging advancements for the safety and efficiency of railway operations. As technology continues to play a pivotal role in the railway sector, such initiatives contribute to the overall improvement of safety standards across the network.