Germany launches first autonomous train


The German railway operator Deutsche Bahn and the industrial group Siemens presented on Monday (October 11) the first autonomous, driverless train in the world.

The demonstration trip took place in the city of Hamburg. The driverless train is more energy efficient than traditional trains. At the same time, this technology would improve the regularity of rail traffic.

Four such trains will join Hamburg’s S-Bahn high-speed urban rail network and start passenger transport in December, using existing railway infrastructure.

The first autonomous train was successfully tested in Germany

“Deutsche Bahn and Siemens have developed the world’s first single-track train,” the two companies said in a press release.

Although the train is controlled by digital technology and fully automated, a driver will still be present to monitor the passengers whenever there are passengers on board, company representatives said in a statement. But the train performs all maneuvers, for example in depots, in full autonomy.

Autonomous technology, which is based on a European digital communication protocol, would increase the number of passengers carried by up to 30%, while improving punctuality and reducing energy consumption by 30%, says the director of the industrial conglomerate Siemens, Roland Busch. “The technology is already approved,” said Roland Busch.

For the Deutsche Bahn railway operator, the automation would allow “an improved offer without building new kilometers of railway”, says the company’s director, Richard Lutz.

In France, the national railway company SNCF and its industrial partners, including Alstom, Bosch and Thales, set out to launch a prototype autonomous train in 2023.

Source: Techxplore.com


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