Invision AI, Metrolinx, and Thales Complete their WinterTech Development Program

A collaboration between three companies has resulted in the successful completion of their WinterTech Development Program. Invision AI, a Toronto-based tech scale-up company, had joined forces with Thales and Metrolinx to advance their autonomous rail.

The collaboration have successfully completed their WinterTech Program, an 18-month collaboration to validate the functionality and reliability of a cutting edge rail-centric system providing enhanced situational awareness, safety enhancements and operational benefits, through all weather conditions.

Metrolinx is the regional transportation agency for the Province of Ontario. Since January 2021, they have been equipped with the system, successfully operating in shadow modes across Toronto to collect data from numerous sensors, radars, cameras, and lidars. This data then trained the system to recognize obstacles and other hazards in any weather condition, from rain to shine to heavy snow.

Ontario sees all weather conditions, so having AI technology capable of accurately identifying hazards to enhance safety could be a key helper in rail safety. The development process included ensuring the system could be rapidly installed without compromising the efficiency or accuracy of the real-time data collection. Not only should it increase safety of passengers and workers, it will also reduce downtime that results from impacts or obstacles. 

This modular solution can also support upgrades if desired, for instance, combining it with smart monitoring systems at level crossings and stations.

The project was made possible with support from the Ontario government, through AVIN’s WinterTech Development program, and led by the Ontario Centre of Innovation. This project positions Canada to be the first to introduce advanced driver assistance and autonomous technologies that can function in all weather conditions. 

“The team at Invision AI is incredibly excited by the opportunity to develop a high-integrity train situational awareness system together with Thales, metrolinx. We brought together the partners with the software, hardware and operational expertise to build an autonomous rail system capable of withstanding our harsh Canadian winter. We are proud to be setting a strong foundation of rail autonomy and solving global challenges right here in Ontario,” said KarimAli, CEO at Invision AI.

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