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Friday, August 14, 2020

Autonomous Cars and Railroad Crossings

Much of my extended family has worked for the railroads in the US and Europe.    So the form of transport has always interested me.  How do autonomous vehicles interact with railroads?   Lance Eliot discusses.  bottom line, its a particular problem.  Worth understanding the challenge.  Below the intro, more details about the problem at the link ...

How Railroad Crossings Can Perilously Stump AI Autonomous Cars
By Lance Eliot, the AI Trends Insider

According to compiled statistics, every 90 minutes in the United States a vehicle and a train collide.

That’s a staggering and somber statistic. Train-vehicle crashes are a lot more common than most people assume they are.  Plus, sadly, injuries and deaths are the likely result of cars and trains opting to ram into each other. There are about 500 deaths each year in the United States due to failures to safety navigate a railroad crossing, amounting to about 20,000 deaths over the last forty years.

Remember this sage advice that was drummed into our heads when first learning to drive: Stop, look, and listen.

Meanwhile, here’s perhaps another surprise for you, namely that railroad crossings are much more prevalent than you might believe. In the United States, there are approximately 128,000 public railroad crossings. Throughout the U.S. there are over 180,000 miles of railroad track.

Overall, railroads are still a significant part of the transportation fabric of our country.

I realize that some of you might be eager to point out that all a driver needs to do is obey a railroad crossing gate. If the gate is down, don’t go around it, and just wait for the train to pass. That seems to take care of having to be concerned about railroad crossings.

Case closed?   Not so...... "

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