GE: Class I railroad to install new software on 1,000 locomotives

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SAN FRANCISCO — GE Transportation officials say one North American Class I railroad is installing the latest in edge computing software into 1,000 locomotives.

In a news release Tuesday, the officials announced the roll out of their EdgeLINC computing software that runs with SAS processing software as well as GE's GoLINC.

"EdgeLINC is already being deployed on over 1,000 locomotives by a major Class I railroad in North America, driving productivity from consolidation of management of multiple devices and applications, and operational efficiencies from real-time analytics of train crew performance," according to the release.

Edge computing is an indirect reference to cloud computing — an infinite array of computers and processors that compile and process data for later or instantaneous use. Rather than sending information back to the Internet "cloud," edge computing tools and edge software take data from closer to the source on the cloud's edge — a locomotive's onboard computer, for instance — to spot malfunctions and wear and tear issues.

Similar software is being developed for use in wind turbines, electric generating stations, and autonomous vehicles to give users advanced notice of potential problems or ways to enhance performance.

“When it comes to transportation and other heavy industrial settings, seconds matter. Operators require the ability to take action on their physical assets immediately, either automatically with a train adjusting itself or by human intervention,” says Laurie Tolson, GE Transportation's chief digital officer. “Edge-level computing and analytics are about giving people actionable information to better manage how the physical world operates in real-time to improve industrial performance.”

GE Transportation unveiled EdgeLINC at Minds + Machines 2017, GE’s premier industrial Internet event dedicated to software, innovation and digital industrial transformation.

More information is available online.

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