Bombardier received one of 15 Innovation Awards presented by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) to companies across a wide variety of engineering and technology disciplines that are using innovation and imagination to enhance peoples' lives. The competition attracted 430 entries from 25 countries.
The IET judging panel said, "TrackSafe has the potential to have a major social impact because on a global scale, it would improve both trackside worker safety and urban transportation productivity. The project has demonstrated a high degree of collaboration between industry, local operators and academia in order to gain the full benefits of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and other technologies."
The Bombardier TrackSafe technology also received the Altran UK Foundation Award and was cited for fulfilling one of the main missions of the Foundation: "To promote technological innovation for human benefit."
Bombardier developed the TrackSafe product in collaboration with the McMaster RFID Applications Lab at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, Canada, to reduce the hazards of inspecting and repairing track and related infrastructure. TrackSafe takes advantage of RFID technology to create improved location awareness for track workers and train operators, alerting both to potential hazards.
Presently, Bombardier and the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) are conducting a TrackSafe demonstration project on the MARTA's Green Line. The project was approved by the Federal Transit Administration, following a request for proposals specifically aimed at improving right-of-way safety for rail transit workers.
"Safety is a top priority at Bombardier, from the safety of our employees, to the safety of the millions of passengers that we carry every year on our rail vehicles, to the safety of transit workers," said Matt Byrne, vice president, services, North America, Bombardier Transportation. "TrackSafe is a powerful solution that provides an enhanced layer of safety for track level employees and we are very proud that it has been recognized by both the IET and the Altran UK Foundation."