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Chicago Metra invests in edge AI/IoT tech, inks $3.9M deal with ClearBlade

Chicago Metra invests in edge AI/IoT tech, inks $3.9M deal with ClearBlade

Chicago Metra, one of North America’s largest and most complex commuter rail systems, has approved a $3.9 million contract with ClearBlade, an IoT platform and edge AI provider, to offer grade crossing and equipment monitoring at hundreds of its transit locations.

The agency operates 646 weekday trains, 565 grade crossings, 24 railyards, 12 fuel facilities and 847 bridges.

“ClearBlade is a game changer for our rail operations,” says Alan Bakotic, the senior director of PTC and engineering at Metra. “Their platform and edge software’s flexibility and ease of use will allow us to monitor critical rail infrastructure and improve efficiency.”

ClearBlade was awarded a contract to implement grade crossing monitoring systems for Metra due to its expertise in using IoT technologies in rail systems. Multiple operators use ClearBlade’s edge software to process their field equipment data and stream events to the ClearBlade Platform.

The grade Crossing Remote Monitoring Solution will enable real-time notification and warning of anomalies and events, allowing Metra to detect any issues with grade crossing signals or interlockings quickly.

Metra released an RFP last year seeking firms to provide a safety solution for its rail crossings.

Metra’s requirements included a flexible, modular edge and back-office platform for monitoring various wayside assets such as grade crossings, positive train control systems, snow melter systems, track circuits, switch machines and power systems.

“The rail industry is one of our primary verticals and we are extremely excited to be selected by Chicago Metra to provide this critical functionality,” says Eric Simone, the co-founder and CEO of ClearBlade.

In 2021, ClearBlade collaborated with embedded computer systems solutions provider Winsystems to deliver turnkey solutions with immediate ROI. Using Winsystems’ gateways, ClearBlade ran its rail solutions locally at the wayside and across industrial environments.

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