AMD and JR Kyushu Revolutionize Track Inspection with AI-Powered Solution

AMD and JR Kyushu Revolutionize Track Inspection with AI-Powered Solution

AMD announced today that JR Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), a Japanese bullet train operator, has implemented the AMD Kria K26 System-on-Module (SOM) to automate track inspection. This innovative AI-based solution replaces traditional manual methods of inspecting miles of track on foot, resulting in significant improvements in inspection speed, cost, and accuracy to meet Japan's strict railway safety requirements. With over 1,455 miles of railroad tracks and trains reaching speeds of up to 161 mph, safety is JR Kyushu's top priority, necessitating thorough track inspections at regular intervals.

To enhance the efficiency and accuracy of assessments, JR Kyushu selected an AMD-powered solution from Tokyo Artisan Intelligence (TAI). This solution utilizes high-speed image processing and advanced AI capabilities to detect and inspect loose bolts and other track issues. "With the new TAI and AMD solution, we have been able to enhance the efficiency of traditional track inspection, and we anticipate further improvements in inspection efficiency through future enhancements," said Kazuhiro Sakaguchi, deputy manager in the Engineering Division, Shinkansen Department at JR Kyushu. At the core of the track inspection solution is a vision computing box attached to a cart that inspects tracks at speeds of 12 mph. The box features a high-speed camera that utilizes the FPGA-based Kria K26 SOM for AI-enhanced pre-and-post data and image processing. The Kria K26 SOM is a compact, all-in-one embedded platform that integrates a custom-built AMD Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC with DDR memory, nonvolatile storage devices, a security module, and an aluminum thermal heat spreader.

"The most significant benefit of AI in this case is the cost reduction," said Hiroki Nakahara, co-founder and CEO of TAI. "Replacing the traditional method of inspecting tracks on foot with carts has led to a remarkable improvement in operational efficiency."

The programmability, durability, and embedded intelligence of the AMD Kria SOM-powered solution also make it adaptable to the unique and changing conditions, geographies, and needs of JR Kyushu's territory and ridership. Given that railways are situated in a natural environment, the ability to update the Kria SOM to accommodate the daily changing natural conditions is crucial and helps safeguard investments for the future.

"AMD Kria SOMs are driving innovation at the edge and simplifying solution development through deployment," said Chetan Khona, senior director of Industrial, Vision, Healthcare and Sciences Markets at AMD. "JR Kyushu is a perfect example of how the limitless programmability of Kria SOMs, combined with edge AI computing, can automate processes and significantly enhance operational efficiency across various applications, from machine vision to industrial robotics and AI/ML computing."

Read the AMD and JR Kyushu customer case study here.