BNSF continues to break ground in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – or drones – in the rail industry. We are becoming more involved in edge machine processing through which algorithms process data collected via drones in the field and then transfer it back to headquarters. In addition, camera systems installed on UAVs are helping to assess the condition of various assets such as our concrete ties, rail and right-of-way. UAVs also help BNSF prepare for and respond to adverse weather events. During Hurricane Harvey, for instance, UAVs were able to provide critical information on network conditions in places that would have been unreachable or unsafe to send out BNSF crews.
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