AusRAIL, Products & Technology, Digitalisation, Safety

AusRAIL 2022: Software success for 4Tel


Having enjoyed great success at the recent InnoTRANS event in Germany, the 4Tel team found continued interest in their products at AusRAIL.

Originally built upon its skills in the defence, emergency services, telecommunications and transport sectors, the Newcastle-based software and hardware engineering firm eventually evolved to specialise in rail systems to the extent that it now provides rail technology and services to companies domestically and internationally.

On hand at AusRAIL was 4Tel general manager Tony Crosby, who said the company highlighted its suite of AI and website protection products.

“In general, for the rail industry, we aim to help railways digitise their operations using technology based on smart train and network infrastructure architectures, with all systems designed to deliver appropriate safety and efficiency benefits,” he said.

“Specifically, 4Tel has developed a suite of train control, planning and communications products that can be customised to create a modern digital-railway management system for a rail network management centre. The product suite is capable of remotely monitoring and controlling rail operations over large geographical areas, using few staff and at low cost.”

The company displayed its development of HORUS – an artificial intelligence machine learning system that can be configured as an independent Advanced Driver Advisory System (ADAS) to improve driver situation awareness.  

By utilising complex neural networks to process data in real-time, the HORUS ADAS uses real-time processing of data from onboard sensors such as visual and thermal cameras, INS and GPS to detect and classify objects in the rail corridor such as people, large animals and vehicles.  

Presenting at InnoTRANS in September, 4Tel had showcased for the first time HORUS’ success in a remote and rugged environment – presenting footage from the Pilbara region of Western Australia.  

Visitors were shown footage capturing accurate detection ranges of objects up to 1500 metres in front of a moving train, including signals, track workers, vehicles, and livestock across the remote rail network.   

4Tel also successfully integrated its eTAP (for Electronic Track Access Protection) app into the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s Train Management and Control Systems.

“The software was commissioned by the ARTC and modified specifically for its staff and contractors on the NSW network,” Crosby said.

The digital app provides functionality for protection officers that replaces the traditional requirement to complete paper forms and phone calls to network control for Look Out Working (LOW) and Working In Corridor (WIC) notifications, needed to obtain the necessary safe working protection for work along the organisation’s rail lines.