Skoda is testing new technology to help prevent cars and trains from colliding at level crossings.
Research by the Czech brand found there were 992 near misses between trains and vehicles in the UK in the 10-year period 2011-2021.
According to the Railroad Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), there is an average of 99 near misses per year. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 75 incidents were recorded between 2019-2020 and 2018-2019.
Between 2021 and 2022 there will be four actual collisions between trains and road vehicles.
Danger – high voltage!
UK motorists face a £60 fine and three points on their license for breaching level crossing rules. Still, between 2014 and 2021, 8,264 drivers crossed the road unsafely.
There are approximately 6,000 level crossings in the UK. However, only a third of them took any steps to warn drivers of approaching trains.
Faced with such a serious road safety problem, Skoda is trialing new software to warn drivers of trains approaching level crossings. It is currently being tested by Czech railway company Leo Express.
Real-time train position data is stored in the cloud and then transmitted to the car as it approaches the level crossing. Drivers will see a warning on a multimedia screen, along with a verbal command to stop.
Skoda’s Traffic app is used to receive and share warnings about level crossings. Being cloud-based, the app is integrated into the car’s infotainment system and can also warn the driver of other potential hazards.
In the UK, the Traffic app runs automatically in the background and can alert drivers to traffic going the wrong way or bad weather. Information gleaned from other Skoda vehicles can be used to tailor warnings – for example, many drivers may detect poor visibility with their fog lights on.
The Traffic app is available for all Skoda models with the latest MIB-3 infotainment system, except the Enyaq iV.
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Skoda is testing a way to stop near-misses at level crossings