The railway company Deutsche bahn, in collaboration with the international Siemens, they have just revealed to the public a fully autonomous train in the city of Hamburg, Germany. It is the first of its kind, as it will operate on established rail tracks, joining Hamburg’s S-Bahn network; Let us remember that current autonomous trains run on exclusive tracks for them, which obviously makes logistics much easier, but limits their scope. In this sense, very soon we will see driverless trains sharing the tracks with traditional trains.
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens announce first automated train
This new autonomous train represents the culmination of a € 60 million project for Deutsche Bahn and Siemens, who financed the project in equal measure together with the city-state of Hamburg.
It operates completely independently and runs on a combination of two operating systems: Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and European Train Control System (ETCS). The advantage is that it can be adapted to old trains and railways, thus facilitating its integration into the existing network.
While all functions and operations are performed autonomously, a driver can assume manual control should a route take the train on tracks that are not equipped with the necessary technology.
Now you may wonder, what are the benefits of an autonomous train? Well, according to Siemens CEO Roland Busch, driverless trains can transport “Up to 30% more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and save more than 30% energy”.
Be that as it may, what we can take for granted is that Hamburg’s first generation of autonomous trains will work with the existing S-Bahn network. Initially, Four trains will be operational on a 23-kilometer stretch of S-Bahn line 21, between the Berliner Tor and Bergedorf / Aumühle stations. As can be expected, its regional and national expansion is already planned for the year 2030.