IT leaders working across the transportation sector have new innovations and emerging technology initiatives at their fingertips to drive change, and experts across the industry believe that IT leaders are well-poised for a digital transformation.

During the “Opportunity Ahead: Driving Transportation Innovation” webinar powered by MeriTalk and underwritten by Dell Technologies, experts explained how IT leaders of growing organizations need modern, scalable networks, and IT innovations.

Dell Technologies panelists Frank Miller III, state and local government strategist; Eric Skomra, chief strategist and innovation officer, state and local government; Randy Lack, manager of safety and security, computer vision for the Americas; and Jon Minshew, chief strategy and innovation officer, state and local government, Mid-Atlantic Region, discussed innovations such as edge computing and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, AI-powered computer vision, and 5G connectivity.

“By deploying a technology, you don’t have to have these huge networks, these beefy networks, that people are afraid they’re going to have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on,” Minshew said during the webinar.

“I would recommend that people really look at computer AI vision and edge technology – because you’re more ready than you think you are,” Minshew added.

At the state and municipality level, Miller explained that IT leaders have more resources and can often progress at a faster pace. However, he said that smaller cities or towns – that may have “an IT department of one” – are able to leverage different technologies that Dell Technologies offers, as well as utilize the company’s partner infrastructure, to set themselves up for success in tech innovation.

One example of this is in Baltimore, whose BWI Airport Station Amtrak stop is one of the smallest stops in the area. However, Miller said over the past 10 years this stop has started to utilize edge computing for passenger safety as well as passenger convenience.

Through the use of cameras, the rail stop’s leader told Miller he noticed many of the passengers bringing snacks onto the train. To improve passengers’ experience, Miller said the stop decided to implement a self-serve snack bar – utilizing cameras and sensors to “provide a convenience” to passengers.

“What we’re really trying to do here is progress all sorts of transportation and infrastructure that for quite some time has been behind the times,” Miller said. “And by the Federal government basically calling this out in various forms and putting money towards it, you can definitely improve computer vision, edge computing, and of course connectivity – which may be one of the bigger portions of this being enacted.”

In addition to providing passenger convenience, the panelists discussed how edge computing and IoT solutions can improve vehicle safety, flag equipment failures, and optimize asset utilization.

They also discussed how AI-powered computer vision can create safer, more engaging passenger experiences, improve security, and anticipate equipment or fleet maintenance needs. As for 5G connectivity, it can enable edge computing, IoT, and cloud solutions and build the foundation for smart ports, airports, and logistics centers.

To learn more and listen to the whole conversation, watch the webinar on-demand.