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Siemens Mobility Conducts Research Into The Safety Of Automated Railways


posted on 24th Nov 2020 14:17


On 24 November 2020, Siemens Mobility and its partners have won two research projects from the German Center for Rail Traffic Research (DZSF, Deutsches Zentrum für Schienenverkehrsforschung) to study the safety of automated rail operations. The aim is to define the criteria required for approving fully automated passenger regional and mainline rail service. The two projects will be funded with 1.7 million EUR and are scheduled to run for 30 months.

The studies will focus on the highest levels of automation GoA 3 and GoA 4 which classifies fully automated trains with driver and without attendants. The research findings will provide important impetus to the further digitalisation of railways. 

One of the projects will investigate which safety requirements must be met by fully automated mainline passenger trains. The goal is to ensure that automated trains provide at least the same level of safety as trains operated by people. Siemens Mobility will lead the project and work closely with its partners, TU Berlin and TÜV Rheinland. 

The second project will be headed by TU Berlin and focus on comparing human and technical performances. The study aims to answer the question: what must an automatic system be able to do to match the capabilities of a train driver? Partners in this project are the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt), DB Systemtechnik and Siemens Mobility.  

Siemens Mobility will contribute its experience and expertise gained in various projects in the field of rail automation. These include the self-driving metros in Nürnberg and Paris as well as the findings of the company’s research on obstacle detection systems for fully automated rail operations.

Know-how gained from Siemens Mobility reference projects in Hamburg and London will also flow into the research project. In Hamburg, the company is conducting a pilot project for highly automated driving with the S-Bahn, which is scheduled to begin passenger service in 2021 for the ITS World Congress. In London, Siemens Mobility combined for the first time a system for automated train operations (ATO) with the ETCS on the Thameslink line.

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