Full Steam Ahead: Railroads with AI at the Edge

The path to strategic business insights and digital transformation begins where data is created.

With more artificial intelligence and machine learning data created at the edge than ever before, businesses are increasing their reliance on some serious computational power, storage and analytics to do the heavy lifting as it’s processed and put into the hands of their users in real time. As a result, users can remotely manage, administer and gain insight on their IT infrastructure wherever it’s deployed. The emphasis on extracting value from data at the edge and using it to improve IT outcomes, drive transformation and increase overall business agility has never been greater.

Today at Dell Technologies World, Dell Technologies announced a series of ways its solution set and partnerships are helping businesses get more value from their data with real-time analytics at the edge. One such example is our work with Duos Technologies Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: DUOT).

Through this partnership, we are providing the foundation for Duos to deploy innovative artificial intelligence solutions at the edge for remote, automated railcar inspections. This first-of-its-kind technology, used by Class I railroads including CSX, is designed to increase safety, enhance maintenance accuracy and reduce customers’ overall costs.

“Our goal at Duos Technologies is to transform industries through intelligent solutions, bringing machine learning, artificial intelligence and video analytics together – the infrastructure behind these solutions is absolutely critical to our business,” said Charles Ferry, chief executive officer at Duos Technologies. “Dell Technologies provides an essential combination of solutions, support and services that, at the end of the day, help our rail customers unlock the value of data at the edge. Together, we’re able to not only keep trains moving, we’re getting them there faster and safer.”

Hundreds of trains cross North American rail lines every day, moving approximately $700 billion worth of imports, exports and domestic shipments in 2020 alone.¹ The traditional inspection process takes an average of eight minutes per railcar, resulting in unscheduled stops that cost rail companies millions of dollars annually. Duos Technologies’ Railcar Inspection Portal, or rip®, is able to review more than 120 railcars in the same amount of time – all while the trains are moving at full speed.

The Railcar Inspection Portals cover more than 140,000 miles of rail track throughout North America. Each portal, placed 50 to 100 miles from an inspection point, contains a micro-data center, designed together with Dell Technologies OEM Solutions, and stacked with Dell EMC PowerEdge servers and Dell EMC PowerVault storage arrays. Dell EMC PowerEdge XR2 ruggedized rack servers, specifically designed to endure remote and tough conditions, handle the demands of image capturing. Additional servers with multiple NVIDIA GPUs provide the lightning-speed throughput needed to process and analyze data in microseconds.

A railcar inspection portal straddles the train tracks

Duos Technologies’ Railcar Inspection Portals are situated along the 140,000 miles of track in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – from a Midwest cornfield to a scorching Mexican desert and a windblown Canadian prairie.

Through Dell’s server management software, users can remotely manage, administer and conduct real-time health and performance checks of its IT infrastructure from virtually anywhere.

Businesses everywhere have realized the benefits of collecting and processing data closer to where it’s created at the edge. With Dell Technologies playing a vital role in Duos’ mission to innovate the transportation industry, it’s able to make freight-train operations faster, safer and more affordable.

¹ Moving Goods in the United States, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 2020

About the Author: CK Kumar

C.K. Kumar is a Marketing and Strategy professional who has spent over 20 years in technology and marketing roles at both startups and large companies. He is passionate about marketing, entrepreneurs and in his non-existent spare time, he helps start-ups and small businesses in their marketing and business strategy. He is currently in Edge Solutions Marketing and working on multiple cross-functional initiatives to increase awareness of Dell Technologies Edge Solutions and help accelerate adoption within key target markets. He has an MBA from the Stern School of Business at NYU and lives in Austin with his wife and one certifiably insane dog.