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New GE ‘In The Wild’ Shows How The IoT Is Making Smart Trains Smarter

The Internet of Things is already helping people track their health with smart wristbands and reduce their home energy use with connected thermostats. Now, as viewers of GE’s “In the Wild” web video series will discover, the IoT has scaled up — way up — to turn industry’s biggest machines into data-generating powerhouses.

In a recent episode of the new GE web series “In the Wild,” host Alie Ward visited GE Transportation’s Engine Plant in Grove City, Pennsylvania, where engineer Ashwin Bhatawadekar showed her how he and his colleagues turn diesel-electric locomotives into smart trains.

Each locomotive has a 4,500-horsepower Tier 4 engine equipped with some 30 sensors that constantly transmit data about conditions such as oil pressure and manifold air temperature to the cloud. GE Transportation’s Global Performance and Optimization Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, then uses software analytics to comb through the information, find meaningful insights and send detailed recommendations it calls “prescriptions” to global customers. The center processes data from 17,000 trains in 23 countries. “Today, we can tell them what the problem is before it fails in some cases,” says Dave Gibson, the center’s operation manager.

To learn more about these digitally powered trains, check out this video:

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