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IoT Edge Computing and Safer Rail

Eric Simone, Founder and CEO of ClearBlade Inc
21 Jun 2019
15:35 - 16:00
Room A

IoT Edge Computing and Safer Rail

Session Abstract:

North America has an issue with its aging class 1 rail infrastructure. The major rail providers are dedicated to making their railways safer and more efficient, but it is a daunting task to comply with government regulations for implementing safety measures along with positive train control (PTC). PTC systems are designed to automatically stop a train before accidents occur due to human error. This requires making upgrades to back office systems, communications infrastructure, wayside signals, and locomotives. This presentation focuses on one aspect of rail modernization, the reduction of incidents at waysides (rail crossings). ClearBlade created and deployed a new wayside crossing solution for the rail industry along with the largest class 1 rail provider in the United States. These rail systems are at the forefront of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). However, creating a network of smart wayside crossings is an extremely complicated task, requiring the upgrading and connecting of thousands of waysides with back office systems, creating alerts, and providing new user interfaces. Several hardware vendors currently offer wayside crossing systems, but these solutions are too rigid with embedded firmware that requires a “truck roll” to update. In this presentation I explain how Edge computing and a flexible IoT platform gather all of these complex components together to create safer railroads and more efficient maintenance of wayside crossings. Via our real customer case study, we explain how Edge computing is used and why it is absolutely critical from a security, flexibility, and resiliency standpoint. This innovative approach to rail safety allows rail companies to avoid vendor lock-in and ensures compatibility with existing rail systems. Join this session to learn how IoT is modernizing rail infrastructure today and saving lives.


Eric Simone is the Founder and CEO of ClearBlade Inc., an Enterprise Edge Computing Internet of Things (IoT) software company focused on large Enterprises in the transportation, building facilities, and connected products markets. Prior to starting ClearBlade, Eric was the founder and CTO of Compete Incorporated, which sold to Perficient Inc. (PRFT) for $63M in May of 2000. Earlier in his career, Eric achieved success in senior engineering, product and sales positions at IBM and Johns Hopkins Hospital. Eric has a degree in Computer Science from Purdue University and is a recognized Distinguished Alumni. Eric resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Toni and 2 sons, Xander and Dexter.

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