MCL1981 wrote:Plus the cost of 4G service to each unit. Plus the cost of a few thousand new employees to monitor these useless cameras all day. Not a single grade crossing collisions will be prevented. Not a single life will be saved. And it will simply increase the railroad's liability in a lawsuit. It's a horrible idea that changes nothing.Existing software (called "motion") can cut down the service cost (only sending alerts to the railroad dispatchers should certain thresholds get met, like a person or a car suddenly go on the tracks and stay there for more than a minute). Having a fiber back-haul to a relay system can also cut that down as well.
Dispatchers (yes, they'll have to hire some more) will have to react on the alerts, and having a system to "dial in" and get the latest imagery also will help. Some of this can be mitigated by having the cameras feed into the dispatch computers, and the computers would drop the signal to Restrict should an alert happen.
Will it prevent all the collisions? Nope, too many variables, including faulty PTC, signaling, crossarm failure, stupidity of humans, phase of moon, etc. But given a well researched specification, I can do it with off-the-shelf hardware and open source software, and cut that collision rate down.
I will say one thing though that will sink the "cameras along the line" idea. You need one every mile of track due to two insummountable issues: Camera resolution and the curvature of the earth. Consider that in a cost analysis.