Gorelektrotrans and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University Will Cooperate in the Field of Unmanned Electric Transport
The first stage of the cooperation was a moving model of an unmanned tram on a scale of 1:87, designed at the Industrial Systems for Streaming Data Processing Laboratory of the SPbPU NTI Center by order of the St. Petersburg SUE “Gorelektrotrans”.
October 19, in the second day of the International Innovative Forum of Public Transport “Smart TRANSPORT”, Denis Minkin, Director of the St. Petersburg SUE “Gorelektrotrans”, and Alexey Borovkov, Vice-Rector for Digital Transformation of SPbPU, Head of the WCRC for Advanced Digital Technologies and the SPbPU NTI Center for Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, signed a cooperation agreement. The agreement defines the directions of joint work on the modernization and improvement of urban electric transport and its infrastructure, in particular, unmanned technologies.
The model of an unmanned tram, shown at the Gorelektrotrans stand in the Forum, embodied the first stage of cooperation. Subsequently, the model will be transported to Vasilievsky Island and become an exhibit of the Museum of Urban Electric Transport.
The 1:87 scale model, designed by order of the St. Petersburg SUE “Gorelektrotrans” in the Industrial Systems for Streaming Data Processing Laboratory of the SPbPU NTI Center, is an urban tramway track where two tram models move along a set route, make stops according to a schedule, monitor the traffic situation, and automatically avoid accidents.
The model demonstrates centralized control of switch rails and traffic lights, tracking of rolling stock using sensors on the tracks, building a route with stops.
The model also demonstrates the work of a computer vision system installed on a tram for recognizing objects and reacting to them. For this purpose, interactive engagement zones are provided in the model. It is possible to simulate accidents, such as a car leaving for a crossing or falling of a pole on the path, and see how the computer vision system detects an object, recognizes it as unwanted, and decides on emergency braking of the tram.
The agreement provides for the implementation of scientific research, scientific and technological developments, and scientific and educational activities, including those within the programmes of the World-Class Scientific Center for Advanced Digital Technologies and the NTI Center for Advanced Manufacturing Technologies.
“We understand that the future development of any transport, both passenger and freight, is associated with maximum control systems, including automatic ones, also known as autopilot, “androids”, robots, and planning the future, you must understand what the systems are and how they work,” said the Director of SPb SUE “Gorelektrotrans”, Doctor of technical Sciences, Professor Denis Minkin:
“Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University is the leader both in teaching and research in the digital platforms development areas. It is of great importance that all these systems work on the principle of learning, i.e. a certain database, a knowledge base, the use of computing technologies based on comparing what a moving vehicle observes with what is embedded in its program, are required. It recognizes these objects and makes decisions based on this. According to our reckoning, an organization that knows how to teach people today and robots tomorrow is ideal for such cooperation.”
“We strive to expand the scope of new digital and manufacturing technologies to different applications. A symbiosis of two Centers established at SPbPU serves this purpose. The World-Class Scientific Center forms fundamental scientific solutions, and the NTI Center provides their practical application in close cooperation with the high-tech industry. We are experienced in developing both electric vehicles and autonomous control systems. Today, both directions are combined in a project to design an unmanned tram,” said the Vice-Rector for Digital Transformation of SPbPU Alexey Borovkov.
Gorelektrotrans and SPbPU have a long-term cooperation. In particular, an agreement on joint work in the personnel sphere has been in force between the two organizations for several years. It provides for the development of educational, scientific, innovative, and research activities to improve the quality of training and specialization of alumni in order to integrate the university students and alumni in the enterprise personnel reserve.