Bosch Engineering is making freight cars intelligent and connecting them to the internet. We have developed a new condition monitoring system for rail freight transportation. The hardware attached to the railcars as part of the system is from Bosch large-scale automotive series production. Sensors supply data such as the precise position of a railcar, or the temperature in the storage area. This data is transferred to a server and evaluated.
Germany alone has the best part of 40,000 kilometers of railway tracks, which are used to transport almost 400 million tons of predominantly heavy goods. It is the transportation method of choice not just for steel, gravel, and coal, but for cars on their way to the big sea ports as well. Despite this, to date freight wagons have been equipped neither with sensors nor their own energy supply. This is because railway engineering must function under extremes of vibration, temperature variations, dirt, and humidity that call for simple, robust solutions. As a result, connectivity technology – which is racing ahead in almost every other sector worldwide – has yet to find its way into rail freight transport. Now Bosch Engineering is filling that gap with its AMRA asset monitoring for railway applications solution, which draws on tried-and-tested technologies and components from large-scale automotive production at Bosch.
AMRA is a smart fleet management system solution that consists of the AMRA device, the AMRA portal, as well as the optional AMRA wireless sensor technology. The AMRA device is a piece of telematics hardware featuring a GPS module, integrated GSM antenna, numerous sensors (wired and wireless), and a powerful battery. The AMRA device is fitted to the freight wagon to supply location and status data. These data are relayed to a server for analysis. The information is displayed in the AMRA portal and can be integrated into the user’s business processes.
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