Microsoft to Leverage IoT for Railroad Monitoring
Microsoft has partnered with consulting firm Slalom and Kawasaki to bring IoT solutions to America’s railroads.
With more than 140,000 route miles, the U.S. boasts the largest railroad network in the world, yet the industry has largely lagged in deploying technologies to connect and maintain this system. This latest product offering seeks to meet this market gap, leveraging advanced IoT, machine learning and AI capabilities powered by Microsoft Azure to identify and report on possible maintenance issues.
The platform can be integrated into existing train infrastructure and is designed to offer remote monitoring and maintenance opportunities to railroad operators.
Kawasaki unveiled its remote track monitoring service last May, with Slalom and Microsoft coming in for the latest collaboration to expand the service’s reach in the U.S. and improve its speed and efficacy. While Microsoft will provide the data processing and storage capabilities, Slalom will bring its expertise in product engineering to the partnership.
“Through this initiative, we will leverage Slalom’s global network and modern engineering expertise across North America and Japan to support Kawasaki’s digital software engineering organization and talent development,” said Ryuta Hosaka, Japan location lead for Slalom Build.
According to Microsoft, processing data closer to its source (as its Azure platform does) enables more rapid and consistent responses with less dependency on cloud connectivity. Using edge computing with AI and ML models establishes a network that can determine high-priority data and send appropriate information to the cloud for processing, in this instance allowing train operators to receive real-time data on track status.