BNSF doesn’t employ technology for the sake of technology; we leverage technology for a specific outcome. We continually develop technologies to make our railroad as safe and as efficient as possible. Advancing technology has long been a part of our overall strategy.
Our advancements in positive train control (PTC) helped us become the first Class I railroad to fully install the federally mandated system. We continue our work with other rail lines to test interoperability while looking for additional ways to leverage this technology.
In addition to PTC, we continue to build upon the data provided by our vast wayside detector network. Today, infrared, vision, force, acoustic and laser technologies — among others — provide us with more than 35 million readings a day about the health of our locomotives and the railcars moving along our network. By applying Big Data, we are taking an increasingly predictive approach to maintenance and incident prevention.
We are also leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve safety, equipment utilization, service, and operational efficiency. We are using AI to enhance our track surfacing plans and our rolling stock maintenance plans. Our goal is to perform maintenance at the right time so that we can continually improve on safety while extending the life of all our assets.
These technologies are just a few examples of how we integrate technology into our ongoing efforts to be more efficient and achieve our safety vision of a workplace free of accidents and injuries.