AI-Powered Elephant Monitoring System in Coimbatore to Prevent Train Collisions
Coimbatore is making significant strides in utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to prevent train collisions with elephants. An AI-powered elephant monitoring system is being installed on the ‘A’ and ‘B’ railway lines that pass through the Solakkarai reserve forest of Madukkarai range. This innovative system is expected to become operational within a month.
The District Forest Officer (DFO) of Coimbatore Forest Division, N Jayaraj, explained that the installation of cameras for the early warning system is nearing completion. Almost 90 percent of the work has been finished, with only some minor civil work remaining for the development of the control room. A successful trial run has already demonstrated the efficacy of the entire system. The early warning system was recently inspected by Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment Climate Change and Forest, Tamil Nadu.
The AI-powered system comprises 12 towers located on a vulnerable stretch of 7.05 kilometers, encompassing 2.9 kilometers on the ‘A’ line and 4.15 kilometers on the ‘B’ line. These towers utilize fiber-optic cables to connect e-surveillance cameras to the control room.
The advanced cameras deployed in this system have the capability to detect elephant movements within a range of 150 meters on both sides of the tracks, instantly sending alerts to the forest department officials. This ensures that immediate action can be taken to prevent elephants from venturing dangerously close to the tracks. Thermal and normal cameras are strategically positioned to effectively detect elephant movements.
DFO N Jayaraj emphasized the significance of this technology-driven warning system, stating that its coverage spans 12 kilometers. The system not only detects elephant movements but also relays signals to the forest department teams. This allows them to quickly reach the identified spots and undertake necessary measures. The implementation of this system eliminates the need to wait until elephants are in close proximity to the tracks before taking action.
The comprehensive nature of this monitoring system provides a crucial advantage in protecting both elephants and trains. It ensures the safety of train passengers and prevents accidents that could be fatal to elephants. By enabling early intervention, the system mitigates the risk of collisions and enhances the overall safety of rail transportation.
With Coimbatore’s AI-powered elephant monitoring system, there is renewed hope for harmonious coexistence between trains and elephants. This groundbreaking initiative showcases the power of technology in preserving wildlife and ensuring the smooth functioning of railway operations. It sets a precedent for other regions grappling with similar challenges, highlighting the potential of AI in safeguarding both human and animal lives.
While the implementation of this system is undoubtedly commendable, it is essential to continue monitoring its effectiveness and make necessary improvements. The success of the AI-powered elephant monitoring system in Coimbatore could serve as a blueprint for other areas facing similar conservation challenges. This transformative project opens up new avenues for utilizing technology to protect wildlife and foster sustainable development.