Brightline and tech partner Wi-Tronix have been awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration to develop an AI-backed monitoring system that will collect real-time data of trespasses and other unsafe behavior on and around its tracks along the Brightline/FEC Railway corridor.
The data collected by Brightline train front-end cameras will guide future decisions related to infrastructure, enforcement and education. Once developed, the first-of-its-kind system could be used by railroads across the country.
“This CRISI grant will help keep people safe, with federal investment going towards innovative technologies that will provide new data to address railroad trespassing activities, ultimately reducing the potential for collisions along the Florida East Coast Railway corridor,” said FRA Deputy Administrator Jennifer Mitchell. “Since President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CRISI funding has quadrupled, and we’re proud to put those investments towards an effort that will inform future infrastructure decisions and safety upgrades along a growing rail corridor providing freight and passenger rail benefits in several Florida communities.”
Wi-Tronix focuses on improving both rail and public safety through the use of AI-enabled cameras and its onboard platform. Over two million thumbnail images and 135,000 hours of video footage are captured every day, allowing the company to continuously improve its automated software solution and AI infrastructure.
The first step of the grant-funded project will be to install upgraded, high-definition forward-facing cameras on each of Brightline’s 21 locomotives. Those cameras will collect data, which will be used to develop and train an AI model to identify unsafe behaviors around the corridor. This information will make it possible for Brightline to more accurately identify areas for additional community outreach, law enforcement presence, or engineering projects.
“Brightline’s proposed project is a major win for safety in our industry and the communities we serve,” said Chad Jasmin, Wi-Tronix’s VP of Sales and Customer Experience. “The ability to collect, identify, and mitigate trespasser behavior through the use of AI is a catalyst for change, and it’s exciting to see the FRA and DOT acknowledge this. New possibilities for safety are on the horizon, not just for Florida, but for our nation.”
Brightline is investing in safety enhancements along the corridor in partnership with local law enforcement agencies. The overarching goal is to utilize AI technology to increase safety for the its users and for those communities in Florida that it serves.
You can view Brightline’s safety initiatives and resources by visiting its new Rail Safety webpage.