Alstom had a special innovative and complex request to protect its train drivers. The famous railroad constructor, pioneer in high speed trains, famous for its TGV, asked Helite to develop a very sophisticated and safe driving board that would include an airbag in case of an accident.
The challenge was to incorporate in their standard driving board a protection device which would work in any unattended circumstances, such as traffic collisions, train accidents with lack of electrical supply...
The complexity was to detect an accident, unlock and lift up the heavy driving board by deploying an airbag in less than 30 milliseconds to protect the driver from crashing into it. Indeed it had to happen extremely rapidly because the driver stands very close to the driving board. The system had to be extremely reliable to avoid any unwanted activation and had to work in case electricity was out; therefore Helite opted for a 100% mechanical airbag system.
This safe driving board fits all their train and tram range, from the famous high speed TGV to the new concept of Tram-train that cover local areas, linking urban centers to other dense zones in the surroundings. They chose Helite as their research and development partner for their know-how, reliability, creativity, initiative taking and dynamic activity. Helite engineers comfortably surpassed Alstom’s expectations.