CN Rail expects automation to save up to $400 million over next three years
Artificial intelligence can inspect 120 cars in the same time it takes a worker to check a single car.
A typical railcar inspection takes about two minutes for a Canadian National Railway mechanic walking on uneven ground around the tracks, shining a flashlight on a car’s undercarriage to spot defects in need of repair.
But that task could be sped up drastically with the introduction of an automated inspection portal, a machine that relies on artificial intelligence that can evaluate 120 cars in the same time it takes a worker to check a single car.
CN showed off its new piece of technology in advance of its investor day in Toronto, where it said advanced technologies such as this will save the railway between $200 million to $400 million from 2020 to 2022. The cost savings are part of CN’s revised three-year financial target of low double-digit profit growth, exceeding its previous target of 10 per cent.
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