Transport Canada: Innovating with AI

Lixar I.T. News

While many are talking about the power Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve some of society’s biggest challenges, very few have figured out how to move beyond talk to bring their projects to fruition. But Transport Canada (TC) is ahead of the curve when it comes to leveraging technology for societal good. The federal government department, responsible for regulating and monitoring the safety, security and efficiency of Canada’s national transportation network, is capitalizing on AI to improve its oversight system.

TC teams are applying cutting edge technology, testing it, and proving its value through measured real-time results. The start small, win big approach has shown concrete results that have made a huge impact.

Identifying the Challenge

“We were looking to experiment with a disruptive technology to solve a common problem – improving risk-based oversight. How could we use artificial intelligence to test and develop risk assessment and mitigation processes for air cargo shipments?”

– Transport Canada

With an average of 900,000 shipment messages received by TC’s Pre-load Air Cargo Targeting (PACT) team over the last five years, analyzing data was burdensome.

Transport Canada engaged with Lixar IT, an Ottawa-based Tech Company that specializes in AI, data analysis, and data science to provide guidance on how AI could be applied to provide a real benefit.

The Outcome

Lixar created an AI solution for TC that delivered immediate partner success:

| Saved 1000’s of work-hours by allowing for timely and proactive analysis of shipment data
| Leveraged real-time assessments on any shipment data received
| Allowed for an expanded number of target shipments from more carriers
| Helped to support its security outcomes

From a technical point of view, by combining advanced natural language process (NLP) techniques and data transformations, Lixar built a data pipeline that fed an artificial intelligence system. The platform can process messages in fractions of a second. Microsoft Power BI, a suite of business analytics tools, further enabled TC to modernize and shift to a risk-based oversight program.

To ensure TC’s PACT AI environment was flexible, secure, and surpassed all the comprehensive compliance requirements, Lixar joined forces with Microsoft to leverage Microsoft cloud technologies. Microsoft’s cutting edge security and privacy provided TC with data residency in Canada (data stored here, stays here). Uptime was also optimal due to Microsoft’s two Canadian geo-located cloud regions.

Microsoft, Lixar and Transport Canada combined efforts to provide a best-in-class AI solution that will enable an efficient and effective risk-based oversight program, which will contribute to a safer and more secure transportation system for all Canadians.

For more information:

Shelley Fraser –