Full Article on East Texas Matters
It was just two short weeks ago when a school bus carrrying students from Athen's ISD was struck by a train on the tracks.
Leaving 13 year old Christopher Bonilla killed and some injured.
This tragedy spread further than our East Texas community. In fact, it introduced our newsroom to a software company known as ClearBlade which is based out of Austin.
"The government and railways want to solve this problem. The railroad danger problem. Ultimately 3% of the budget go toward accidents and repairs and something new needs to be done," said Eric Simone the CEO of ClearBlade.
He and his team created this software with one goal in mind.
"If our software can save one life. People often ask what's the return in this; if you're saving lives you can't put a return value on that," said Simone.
The software is built inside a housing called a gateway. That gateway is placed inside the silver boxes that can be spotted at any railroad crossing. Simone says that it can give a real time look at the mechanical and electrical components to ensure the railroad crossing is safe and working properly.
"Typically you see a man out with a clipboard testing things, this does that and more and if something is faulty, the software senses it and we can resolve it before an accident is caused," said Simone.
Today the software is being used on 4 railroads in the U.S. and the company has hopes that it will soon be the standard when it comes to railroad safety.