Safety and Competition Pushing Rail Freight Towards Technology Adoption

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1Q 2018 | IN-5051


Industry Laggard Joining IoT


The industry’s adoption of transformative technologies is driven by a confluence of regulations, influx of younger workers, safety and security needs, grow of e-commerce, and the increasing need for seamless and transparent intermodal transit. The United States is expected to mandate positive train control (PTC) in December 2018. Like the ELD mandate for commercial trucking a year earlier, it is expected to be a tipping point for additive technology adoption. BNSF Railway began track geometry testing with several autonomous cars and drone pilots for condition-based maintenance. Union Pacific Railroad recently partnered with accelerator Plug and Play on its Supply Chain Innovation Platform. Additive technologies, such as inward-facing cameras, are facing resistance and legal battles in some cases. Other emerging technologies developing for freight include alt fuel/energy-efficient locomotives and wagons, train control systems, asset monitoring, video surveillance, predictive maintenance, intelligent rail infrastructure and operations, freight information systems (FIS…

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