Telefónica´s 5G project, developed with the collaboration of Ineco, Adif and Huawei, has enabled the implementation of a track remote inspection solution with 5G and drones in Ourense and Pontevedra, in the northwest of Spain.
The service makes it possible to remotely pilot a drone fitted with high-resolution cameras and a 5G modem to take images of Adif’s tracks and transmit these images in real time. The images are processed with Artificial Intelligence (AI), which allows automation of track inspection.
The implementation has required the deployment of 5G coverage in two railway sections of about ten kilometres each, as well as the use of a drone equipped with 5G connectivity and several cameras: a 360º vision camera, another camera for 4K resolution track inspection with powerful zoom lenses, and a third one for remote piloting.
This remote system allows easier and more frequent inspections on tracks, surveillance in inaccessible places, increased safety, reduction of technical visits, obtaining extra information in addition to the one acquired through visual inspection, automation of track elements detection via AI, and higher speed of action in case of unexpected events.
This remote and real-time inspection enabled by the 5G technology will speed up decision-making, facilitate cost reduction by avoiding technical staff visits, and will also extend the possibilities of searching new applications that improve management of maintenance and railway infrastructure assets.