MIAMI (Sept. 29, 2023) – Brightline and partner Wi-Tronix have been awarded $1,648,000 from the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) competitive grant program. The investment will enable the development of the AI-backed monitoring system, Wi-Tronix, to collect real-time data of trespass activity along the Brightline/FEC Railway corridor. The data collected by locomotive 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.”
"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."
“We want to thank the Biden Administration, USDOT and the team at the FRA for their commitment to this project and their dedication to rail safety in Florida and across the country,” said Michael Lefevre, Brightline’s vice president of operations. “It’s our hope that this project, the first to be deployed at scale, will utilize AI technology to drive data-informed decisions along our corridor and establish a cutting-edge technology for the rest of the industry.”
Wi-Tronix has been 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 empower Brightline to more accurately identify areas for additional community outreach, law enforcement presence, or engineering projects.
Brightline continues prioritizing and investing in safety enhancements along the corridor. Many Brightline investments have been engineering-based and completed in partnership with local law enforcement agencies. By harnessing AI technology, the company is positioning itself at the forefront of the industry.
You can view Brightline’s safety initiatives and resources by visiting its new Rail Safety webpage.
Brightline is the only provider of modern, eco-friendly, higher-speed rail service in America. The company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, with Orlando beginning service on Sept. 22, 2023. Brightline was recognized by Fast Company as one of the Most Innovative Companies in Travel and included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2023 Hot List for the best new ways to travel. Offering a guest-first experience designed to reinvent train travel and take cars off the road, Brightline plans to bring its award-winning service to additional city pairs and congested corridors across the country that are too close to fly and too long to drive, with immediate plans to connect Las Vegas to Southern California. For more information, visit www.gobrightline.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Wi-Tronix®, LLC delivers advanced IoT platforms for the rail industry and provides actionable information and insights on how networks are performing in real time. By enabling continuous improvement with a powerful combination of connectivity, analytics, alerts and more, we are enabling freight, passenger railroads, and transit systems with the tools that help enhance safety, operational efficiency, and service reliability. The Wi-Tronix team is passionately committed to its global vision of saving lives and ensuring the most efficient and reliable movement of goods and people throughout the world. Find out more about Wi-Tronix at www.wi-tronix.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vanessa Alfonso, director media relations at Brightline
Hannah Swieczka, marketing manager at Wi-Tronix