As IoT in Public Transportation Grows, ClearBlade Wins $3.9 Million Contract in Chicagoland


IoT technology is playing a vital role in improving the safety and reliability of public transportation. According to a report by Precedence Research, the global IoT in transportation market size was estimated at $85.21 billion in 2021 and expected to hit around $498.47 billion by 2030, at approximately a CAGR of 21.69%.

IoT technology is revolutionizing rail transit systems by providing remote monitoring capabilities for a wide range of safety and operational concerns. One of the key areas where IoT is making a significant impact is in the monitoring of grade crossings.

In that space, ClearBlade was recently awarded a $3.9 million contract, over the period of six years, to deliver Grade Crossing and Asset Monitoring for over 300 locations across the Chicago. Metra, one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, issued a Grade Crossing Monitoring request for proposal to roughly 400 separate vendors in August of last year.

They appealed for a comprehensive monitoring solution for all remote monitoring requirements for crossings which included the need for a flexible and modular edge and back-office platform for monitoring all assets, which include:

  • Grade crossings
  • Positive train control wayside systems
  • Snow melter systems
  • Track circuits
  • Switch machines
  • Power systems
  • Crossing video cameras

With a history and a solid track record of delivering monitoring solutions to several Class 1 rail companies, ClearBlade’s IoT platform encompasses all of Metra’s requirements by optimizing the use of all assets and allowing for real-time visibility into operations.

Grade crossings, also known as level crossings, are intersections where a railway line crosses a road or path on the same level. These intersections can be a significant source of danger for rail passengers and road drivers. However, by using IoT-enabled sensors and cameras, rail operators can remotely monitor grade crossings for potential hazards in real time. This allows them to quickly identify and address any issues, such as malfunctioning gates or signals, before they become a serious safety concern.

In addition to grade crossing monitoring, IoT technology is also being used to improve rail transit safety in adverse weather conditions. For example, sensors can be used to monitor track conditions in real time and detect issues such as melting snow or ice, which can cause delays and disruptions to rail service. This information can then be used to quickly deploy maintenance crews to address the issue and minimize disruptions to rail service.

IoT can be utilized to improve the reliability and efficiency of rail transit power systems by using sensors and other IoT-enabled devices to remotely monitor power consumption and identify potential issues with the power grid, allowing rail operators to proactively address any problems before they cause delays or disruptions to service.

IoT technology can also be used for train control and track circuit monitoring, allowing for real-time monitoring of train location, speed, and other parameters, which can help improve the safety and efficiency of rail transit operations.

Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.

Edited by Erik Linask
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