A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains

Yung Cheng Lai, Narendra Ahuja, Christopher Paul Lyman Barkan, Joseph Drapa, John M. Hart, Larry Milhon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Intermodal trains are typically the fastest trains operated by North American freight railroads. It is thus ironic that these trains tend to have the poorest aerodynamic characteristics. Because of constraints imposed by equipment design and diversity, there are often large gaps between intermodal loads and these trains incur greater aerodynamic penalties and increased fuel consumption compared to other trains. We conducted train energy analyses of the most common intermodal train configurations operated in North America. It was found that matching intermodal loads with cars of appropriate length reduces the gap length thereby improving airflow. Properly matching cars with loads also avoids use of cars that are longer and thus heavier than necessary. For double stack containers on well cars, train resistance may be reduced by as much as 9% and fuel savings by 0.52 gallon per mile per train. Proper loading of intermodal trains is therefore important to improving energy efficiency. We have developed a wayside machine vision system that automatically scans passing trains and assesses the aerodynamic efficiency of the loading pattern. Machine vision algorithms are used to analyze these images and detect and measure gaps between loads and develop a quantitative index of the loading efficiency of the train. Integration of this metric that we call "slot efficiency" can provide intermodal terminal mangers feedback on loading performance for trains and be integrated into the software support systems used for loading assignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006
Pages295-304
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
EventASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006 - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Apr 4 2006Apr 6 2006

Publication series

NameASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006

Other

OtherASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006
CountryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period4/4/064/6/06

Fingerprint

Computer vision
Energy efficiency
Railroad cars
Monitoring
Aerodynamics
Railroads
Fuel consumption
Containers
Feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Lai, Y. C., Ahuja, N., Barkan, C. P. L., Drapa, J., Hart, J. M., & Milhon, L. (2006). A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains. In ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006 (pp. 295-304). (ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006).

A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains. / Lai, Yung Cheng; Ahuja, Narendra; Barkan, Christopher Paul Lyman; Drapa, Joseph; Hart, John M.; Milhon, Larry.

ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006. 2006. p. 295-304 (ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Lai, YC, Ahuja, N, Barkan, CPL, Drapa, J, Hart, JM & Milhon, L 2006, A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains. in ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006. ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006, pp. 295-304, ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006, Atlanta, GA, United States, 4/4/06.
Lai YC, Ahuja N, Barkan CPL, Drapa J, Hart JM, Milhon L. A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains. In ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006. 2006. p. 295-304. (ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006).
Lai, Yung Cheng ; Ahuja, Narendra ; Barkan, Christopher Paul Lyman ; Drapa, Joseph ; Hart, John M. ; Milhon, Larry. / A computer vision system for monitoring the energy efficiency of intermodal trains. ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006. 2006. pp. 295-304 (ASME/IEEE 2006 Joint Rail Conference, JRC2006).
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