New Tech Avoids Train Collisions

Sat 18th Mar 2023

Skoda drivers can now take advantage of new technology aimed to pre-warn them of an impending train at a level crossing. 

There are currently 6,000 level crossings in the UK, but surprisingly only one in three has any form of alert system.

The new train warning software that is currently being tested by Skoda in conjunction with the Czech railway company Leo Express enables real-time train locations to be transmitted to the cloud, which Skoda then communicates to any of its vehicles using its Traffication infotainment app.

A warning will be displayed on the driver's central infotainment system and there will also be an audible alarm if the driver approaches a level crossing while a train is approaching. Skoda's Traffication app already issues warnings to drivers in the United Kingdom about hazardous road conditions, adverse weather, and cars driving in the opposite direction of the flow of traffic; however, it is anticipated that this new train detection system will be implemented very soon.

The Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) found that there were a total of 992 near misses between trains and road vehicles that occurred at level crossings in the United Kingdom in the last decade, with an annual average of 99 near misses occurring during that time period.

Between the years 2014 and 2021, there were 8,264 'incidents of vehicles misusing level crossings,' which refers to instances in which a vehicle crossed a level crossing when it was unsafe to do so. An annual average of 1,181 motorists risk their lives by driving through level crossings when it is unsafe, with 621 incidents documented in just the two years between 2020 and 2021. From 2019 to 2020, there were approximately 1,015 incidents that were documented.