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Ramin Karim 2
Ramin Karim is executive director for AI Factory Railway. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Unique AI venture for the Rail Industry

Published: 18 June 2020

An AI engine where large amounts of information can be sorted should become an important tool for companies in the Rail Industry. It is the AI Factory Railway project, AIFR, at Luleå University of Technology that will be responsible for the development in collaboration with a number of companies.
– This is a large and unique project that can improve punctuality, for example, says Ramin Karim, professor and business manager.

In total, eleven companies and many people are involved in the project, most of them are researchers and doctoral students at Luleå University of Technology.
– We have formed a consortium. We want to create a Digital Platform and an AI engine to help the Rail Industry in its digitization journey. We want to show the benefits, whether you are an operator, service company, authority or train manufacturer, says Ramin Karim, professor of Operations and Maintenance and executive director of the project.

In the digital platform, information shared by the companies is going to be collected. Artificial intelligence, AI, is used to sort out the large amount of data.
– One goal is to improve punctuality on Swedish Railways. One can predict what might happen. Or when it happened, what caused it? Then you can do analyzes, says Ramin Karim.

Huge amount of Data

With the help of the AI engine, it is possible to see what measures should be taken to avoid problems in the future. If there is something in the design, or if it helps to run the train in a different way, or if it might help to change how the load was done.
– You have not been able to do this because it is such a huge amount of Data, in terms of volume and with so many parameters. But with AI we can handle the volume and the context. That's what our research should show, how to collect and interact, says Ramin Karim.

He says that the companies that are part of the project have participated in previous projects in the Division of Operation and Maintenance, at the Railway Technical Center at Luleå University of Technology.
– The goal of this venture is to strengthen decision support and decision making in the Rail Industry by using AI technology and advanced digitalisation. If you have facts, you can look into the future with the help of the AI engine and then planning is facilitated. Maintenance is improved and planning becomes better, which means that resources are used more efficiently. Thanks to that, we also have a sustainability effect, says Ramin Karim.

AI for analysis

The companies participating in the project will have access to four main areas, the delivery of the technical platform to collect and access data and the AI engine for analysis and results. Part two is E-governance, that is, frameworks and policies to control and quality assure the technical platform.
Part three is about how should we share? What business models should we have? Should we charge for data?
Part four is about communication, disseminating knowledge about this to academia and other industries and showing opportunities for collaboration between different companys.

Ramin Karim

Ramin Karim, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 492344
Organisation: Operation and Maintenance, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Cecilia Glover

Cecilia Glover, Project Coordinator

Phone: +46 (0)920 493143
Organisation: Operation and Maintenance, Operation, Maintenance and Acoustics, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering