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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

An Automated, Drone-Based Inspection System

Document Series
Research Results
Federal Railroad Administration
Report Number
RR 20-14
Subject Grade Crossing Technology, Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
UAS, unmanned, aerial, drone, automated, grade crossing, infrastructure, railway, slope, vertical profile

MTRI Inc. and Michigan Technological University developed and demonstrated a drone-based system for automated inspection of grade crossings. The prototype system can determine whether vertical approach grades create a risk for vehicles to get stuck on tracks, assess the adequacy of visual sight lines at a crossing, and locate relevant assets such as gates, lights, signage, etc. It uses high-resolution images collected via drone/unmanned aerial system that are the processed into 3D data for analysis.

Last updated: Monday, August 24, 2020