MTA Debuts AI-Enabled Bus Maintenance

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This initiative comes as the MTA prepares for a predicted multibillion-dollar shortfall in the coming years, thanks to pandemic disruptions.

The New York MTA will begin using artificial intelligence tech to prevent buses from breaking down. It’s yet another move cities are making toward smart maintenance and technology-enabled efficiency. The diagnostics will provide a critical service for a public transportation icon in the US and could help the MTA begin to recover from the disruption of the past few years.

See also: How Will Prediction Models Impact the Future of Vehicle Maintenance?

Reducing downtime through predictive maintenance

Buses will be equipped with technology from partner Preteckt, which has been in testing with the city for the last two years. It will flag serious problems with buses sooner than traditional maintenance and prevent buses from coming off routes longer than necessary.

Fixing minor issues will save time and money for the city as well as prevent progressive damage. AI is able to analyze bus data in context and account for things like speed, outside temperature, and other environmental factors. The result is a more accurate picture of each bus’s performance and needs.

See also: Predictive Maintenance Market Projected to Reach $26 Billion by 2028

MTA is looking for more efficiency due to the predicted shortfall

This initiative comes as the MTA prepares for a predicted multibillion-dollar shortfall in the coming years, thanks to pandemic disruptions and quarantine. The new tech will help prevent riders from becoming stranded on buses that break down while creating a more efficient and effective maintenance schedule. In addition, the MTA is in the process of converting to an all electric vehicle force, and the technology will install in around a quarter of the fleet in December.

Preteckt focuses efforts on bus emissions for now but will expand diagnostic sources to the HVAC and engine systems next. The company is one of six companies chosen in 2019 to pilot smart technology with the MTA, testing first on just over 300 buses. Around 50 buses received repair plans from the company.

Elizabeth Wallace

About Elizabeth Wallace

Elizabeth Wallace is a Nashville-based freelance writer with a soft spot for data science and AI and a background in linguistics. She spent 13 years teaching language in higher ed and now helps startups and other organizations explain - clearly - what it is they do.

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