Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for railroads. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising Sensors and Internet of Things (IoT) startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Sensors & IoT Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of sensors & IoT for the railway industry. For this research, we identified 38 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing sensor & IoT solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 38 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Vortex IoT – Obstacle Detecting Sensor
Traditional methods of rail track maintenance and repair affect operators as the cost of manually detecting and clearing obstacles is quite high. From a fallen tree on the track to crucial misalignments, there are currently various innovative solutions in development that aim to help operators run trains without unnecessary delays.
British startup Vortex IoT develops RODIO – Railway Optical Detection of Intrusions and Obstructions, a railway condition monitoring system that detects obstacles on the rail tracks. Easily scalable and cost-effective compared to traditional methods of obstacle detection, this simple yet powerful solution could potentially make rail transportation safer.
TransRail Innovation Group – Freight Load Sensor
While loading freight, human error can lead to expensive spills, damages, or even theft. Those workers loading freight usually are exposed to the threat of injury or exposure to harmful chemicals. Railway freight operators are increasingly adopting technology to make their operations safer for their workers, more cost-effective, and better for the environment.
Canadian scaleup TransRail Innovation Group develops sensors for loading liquid freight into car tanks. TLoad helps terminal operators improve worker safety by rethinking the loading processes and XLoad is designed for freight operators to conduct accurate level measurements for the load. Their solution eliminates the need to open tanks for calculating such data, a sensor placed inside and around the car tank provides and monitors the level constantly.
Auza Tech – Rail Crossing Sensor
Many countries today have trains and extensive railway networks. However, they also lack basic safety mechanisms and public awareness about railroad safety is quite low. Given this, it is no surprise that the number of rail line crossing deaths is quite shocking. The IoT is set to play a major role in ensuring railway safety standards are maintained, implemented, and improved.
Indian startup Auza Tech develops smart line crossing sensors designed for the railway sector in India. Their sensor is placed on the boom barriers and provides clear information to the station authority to make decisions regarding train signals. The real-time monitoring of line or level crossings ensures that authorities can take swift action in response to violations.
Prisma Photonics – Rail Fault Sensor
Developing in-house sensors for rail monitoring or deploying conventional third-party asset tracking systems is time-intensive. To speed up the time of deployment, startups offer cost-effective and easily-deployable sensor solutions. These include autonomous sensors and readily-integrable commercial off-the-shelf-based systems.
Israeli startup Prisma Photonics provides fiber sensing to detect faults in railroad tracks. The startup leverages already laid single-mode optical fibers laid for communication systems to monitor vibrations. This enables railway management companies to avoid sensor deployment and speed up fault detection integration. This, in turn, reduces risk management and maintenance costs.
Feonic Vibration – Wireless Vibration Sensor
Constant vibration and load on rails incur heavy wear and tear to the tracks, leading to severe damage in vulnerable areas. Likewise, the vibration also affects the components of the train such as wheels and bearings. This is why startups provide vibration sensors that allow fleet managers to constantly monitor vibration data and promptly identify faults.
UK-based startup Feonic Vibration develops wireless acoustic sensors to monitor vibrations in the rail. The startup’s device is placed under the train and it automatically detects unusual sounds or vibrations coming through the rail. It also generates high audio frequency to detect failure points between two sensor points. This allows train operators to detect failures like couples disconnectivity, braking system malfunctions, and broken rails.
What About The Other 33 Sensors & IoT Startups?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 38 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.