BNSF’s Automated Gate Systems Reduce Carbon Emissions

Nov 6, 2013 9:15 AM ET


BNSF Railway has implemented automated gates at nine intermodal facilities across its network. Automated Gate System (AGS) technology expedites shipment speed, maximizes security, enhances safety and reduces carbon emissions.

When truck drivers pull up to an automated gate, their tractor-trailer is scanned by high definition cameras. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and License Plate Recognition (LPR) software automatically reads the container, chassis unit and license plate numbers from the camera footage. Hazardous material placards, if appropriate, are also checked and confirmed.

“Prior to AGS, inspectors had to walk around each truck and gather this information manually,” said BNSF Program Manager, Business Unit Operations Jim FitzGerald. “Not only is the new camera and software system faster, but it reduces the likelihood for injury to personnel.”

Meanwhile, drivers complete their gate transaction at entry kiosks and receive a printed receipt. Each kiosk is equipped with biometric sensors that verify drivers’ identities before they are allowed into the facility for added safety.

The process has reduced driver transaction time by 50 percent. As a result, carbon emissions from idling trucks have been cut in half at each AGS equipped facility.

“AGS has improved security, increased facility throughput, cut operating costs and decreased air emissions,” said FitzGerald. “It is a winner all around.”