German ASE Automated Video Gates System for Trains and Trucks Hits €1M Mark on Companisto: All Aboard

ASE, a company founded in 2002, uses its system to scan passing trains and trucks with fully automated “video gates” and saves companies time-consuming and error-prone manual checks. The company easily surpassed its €700,000 finding goal and has reached €1M milestone. 1224 investors have participated in the Companisto crowdfunding campaign wherein 9.09 % equity is offered. The software/ hardware company has been pre-valued at €7,000,000.

Using high resolution video cameras and an intelligent software ASE enables the automated recording of wagon and container numbers, vehicle registrations, hazardous goods identifiers, etc. The recorded data is then integrated with the operating systems and databases of the end customers via interfaces. With CFO Klaus Hoppe and CEO Eric Steck at its helm, ASE already has already secured customers from the railway and industry sectors, such as Deutsche Bahn, ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways), SBB (Swiss Federal Railways), Arcelor Mittal, Siemens and BASF, as well as a “high 6 figure sum” investment from German business angel, Dr. Tobias Engelhardt, the CEO of Kaupp Kiefer Investments.

“Many millions of goods are transported and stored globally every day. They are usually transported in containers that are loaded onto trains and trucks. These containers are reloaded and transported further several times in harbors and large container stations. Given the sheer volume of containers, it is impossible to manually record where which container is located at the moment in real time,” explained the campaign. “However, exactly this information is necessary for the modern industry, as it often produces “just in time”, i.e. the goods and raw materials to be processed arrive exactly at the time when they are further processed, without having to be stored over long periods of time. Therefore, the industry must rely on knowing where which goods and which containers are located at any given time.”

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In 2016, ASE reported an annual turnover of approximately €1.3M. In 2017, ASE said that likely to achieve a turnover of more than €2M and, according to the video, breaking even in 2018 and by 2020 ASE aims to reap €9.3M.

Manual recording (often using a clipboard and pen) is currently the MO for the tracking business. Wagon numbers, hazardous goods numbers and vehicle registrations are written down by a person when the vehicle is stationary at a station or harbor. To do so, it is often necessary to walk along the entire train or truck and record all numbers individually.

“This is time-consuming (just a single train can consist of 40 wagons and be more than 800 meters long) and error-prone, because any incorrect digit can result in the wagons not being identified correctly,” explained ASE.

ASE disrupts this archaic process by recording of trains and trucks with its system utilizing wideo gates with high resolution cameras placed at the entrance and exit of a station or loading terminal. While the arriving and departing trains and trucks pass through the video gate and number check systems, wagons and containers are automatically scanned with the high resolution cameras, recording the wagon numbers, hazardous goods numbers, vehicle registrations and other information in realtime. All information is digitally available to the respective terminal operator or dispatcher of the goods immediately. The condition of wagons, containers or trucks is simultaneously recorded visually in case damage is present and replacements are necessary. Image or video data are also available as evidence for claim settlements.

Customers can choose from a total of 7 different modules, including camera-based number recognition, container number recognition, hazardous goods detection, condition documentation and archiving, wheel axle sensors, EVU data alignment (EVU = railway operator) and automated invoice generation.

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