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Germany builds the world's first self-driving train

10 minute read
Trains are one of the most important and safest means of public transport in the world. In Europe in particular, Trains contribute to feeding the daily lifeline in major cities, This requires constant development and the use of technology to improve the performance of the local public transport system in its growing cities, To keep pace with the needs of contemporary lifestyle.
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Within the global future trend of modernizing the transport sector, The city of Hamburg has launched an ambitious project to digitize the transport network, It recently announced the implementation of its first phase, which is the manufacture of a self-driving train that operates fully automated in accordance with European regulations. It represents a first step towards the use of technologies in the transport network at the national level.

Trains are one of the most important and safest means of public transport in the world. In Europe in particular, Trains contribute to feeding the daily lifeline in major cities, This requires constant development and the use of technology to improve the performance of the local public transport system in its growing cities, To keep pace with the needs of contemporary lifestyle.

In Hamburg, Germany, The largest city in the country, The population is constantly increasing, Accompanied by the momentum of commercial activity in the city, This increased its need to modernize the rail express system, the laying of additional transmission lines, and improve services provided to passengers. In the pursuit of this vision, The city of Hamburg this year launched the world's first autonomous automated train after its local government modernized and digitized the rail system in a project that lasted almost three years.

The process of improving transport services in the current era requires the creation of digital infrastructures, This prompted the Hamburg government to launch the Digital Transport Project in 2018. Which was the result of cooperation between the Municipality of Hamburg and Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Transport and the culmination of the memorandum of understanding signed in 2017 on strengthening the partnership between the private and government sectors to transform Hamburg into a smart city, The memorandum laid the foundation for all these efforts.

The €60 million project seeks to set a regular timetable and clear plans to achieve the goals of developing the entire public transport system. The first achievements were the commissioning of the world's first autonomous robotic train in 2021.

The project is based on the close integration of railway and train infrastructure by taking advantage of the European train control system and its automatic start system, The state-of-the-art electronic system monitors the various points scattered along the railways to make sure they are in the right places and sends signals to trains to run.

The new mechanism has been implemented on four trains that will make a 23-kilometre journey between Berliner Tor and Omullet. Fully automated trains are controlled by the use of digital technology, This does not mean dispensing with the train driver, The driver stays with the passengers on the train to supervise the progress of the journey, While train tracks and turns are automatically diverted, Without the need for any intervention, Including stopping at passenger boarding platforms at stations. But on board these automatic trains, The driver always has the highest authority in the process of controlling the course of the train, He can take the lead at any time, Especially in cases of accidents.

In the meantime, The journey is monitored by a computer programmed to operate according to the European Train Control System, which receives train control information such as speed limits, It shall then transmit them by radio waves to the trains concerned, And then he continues to monitor her movement.

Besides the new radio center, The European Train Control System includes several wireless controls, These are transmitters placed between railway tracks along the four train tracks to transmit additional statistical information to each of them, Such as location and speed, for example.

As for the automatic start system for trains, Through it, the train driver can activate high-quality automated driving across his units on board each train, These units receive live schedule information from their computer, Follow-up orders are received from the ETS unit on board the train as well.

In the second phase of the project, The system will begin to take full advantage of its full potential, Trains will operate in close proximity in a fully automated process, It is controlled by smart technologies such as sensor technology that enables it to explore its surroundings and location.

During the implementation process, It turns out that the biggest challenge lies in the lack of the conditions required by the systems currently adopted to expand the experiment. To achieve connectivity to the European Train Control System, Systems had to be upgraded to enable them to operate electronically using updated technologies, Therefore, the elements required for the implementation of the automatic operating system according to the European system have been integrated, This is done on the tracks, on the trains themselves, computers, radio guides, etc.

By automating railway operations, The network can provide its passengers with better, more reliable and accurate services, The capacity of this network can increase by up to 35% to attract more passengers, This is without the need to extend new train tracks. Most importantly, these processes will achieve greater energy efficiency. This means reducing carbon emissions and promoting a more sustainable transport system.

Besides being a pivotal step in introducing innovative technologies to railway operations, This train marks the first step in a project that aims to completely renew the network by 2035 using the European Train Control System, digital signaling technology and the integrated control and operation system. Within the German endeavor to move into the digital future.


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