AMD and JR Kyushu Revolutionize Bullet Train Safety with AI-Powered Track Inspection

AMD has embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration with JR Kyushu Railway Company, a prominent operator of bullet trains in Japan, by powering an advanced AI solution aimed at transforming the way bullet train tracks are inspected. Utilizing the potent AMD Kria™ K26 System-on-Module (SOM), this AI-centric approach is set to redefine safety protocols by ushering in a new era of speed, accuracy, and efficiency in track inspection processes.

JR Kyushu, overseeing an extensive network of over 1,455 miles of train tracks and operating trains at exhilarating speeds of up to 161 mph, places paramount importance on safety. Traditionally reliant on manual track inspections, the company sought a more efficient and accurate method, leading to the adoption of a state-of-the-art solution devised by Tokyo Artisan Intelligence (TAI). This solution leverages high-speed image processing and advanced AI capabilities to pinpoint issues such as loose bolts, thereby significantly improving the conventional inspection paradigm.

The heart of this innovative track inspection mechanism is a vision computing box mounted on a cart, capable of inspecting tracks at 12 mph. This setup incorporates a high-speed camera and AMD’s FPGA-based Kria K26 SOM, enabling AI-enhanced data and image processing. The Kria K26 SOM is a compact, integrated platform that includes an AMD Zynq™ UltraScale+™ MPSoC, DDR memory, nonvolatile storage, a security module, and a thermal heat spreader, making it an ideal solution for this high-stakes application.

Kazuhiro Sakaguchi, a deputy manager at JR Kyushu, expressed anticipation for further improvements in inspection efficiency through future enhancements of this technology. TAI’s co-founder and CEO, Hiroki Nakahara, highlighted the cost reduction benefits brought about by replacing manual inspections with this AI-driven method, noting a dramatic increase in operational efficiency.

This venture exemplifies how AMD’s Kria SOMs are pushing the boundaries of innovation at the edge, according to Chetan Khona, AMD’s senior director of Industrial, Vision, Healthcare, and Sciences Markets. By combining edge AI computing with the programmability of Kria SOMs, JR Kyushu showcases the vast potential for automating and optimizing processes across various industries.


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