Developing a metro autonomy platform

Developing a metro autonomy platform

About the Client:

The Client is a global leader in railway systems who engaged PreScouter to support its leadership team in formulating its “make or buy” strategy regarding object detection systems for autonomous railways, with a focus on LiDAR, radar, camera, and inertial sensors.


The challenge for PreScouter was to support the Client’s goals of developing a metro autonomy platform by (a) providing data and analysis to determine whether to make or buy object detection systems and (b) presenting information regarding the relevant market trends and developments in the subway, metro, and tramway segments.

Key areas of investigation:

  • Assessing the safety integrity level of identified systems
  • Identifying and classifying sensors used in the object detection systems
  • Highlighting how competitors were marketing similar systems


PreScouter launched an analysis to determine a make, collaborate, or buy strategy for sensors and presented to the Client two Intelligence Briefs (IBs) outlining their results. The first IB comprised a landscape of object detection systems applicable to each railway segment type. Based on feedback from the Client, the second IB expanded on the search conducted for the first report and looked into parallel industries (i.e., mining, automotive) for additional object detection systems. 


The PreScouter team identified over 20 relevant object detection systems and key components (hardware, sensors, algorithms, etc.) available from potential suppliers and competitors globally and highlighted the best approach (make or buy) for the three segments explored. A Subject Matter Expert in object detection sensor systems confirmed the trends identified and advised the Client on relevant strategic considerations to keep in mind for product development.

A downloadable version of this case study is available here.

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