Deutsche Bahn deploys HD mapping technology for digital rail project
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Deutsche Bahn deploys HD mapping technology for digital rail project

12 Jan 2021

German railway company Deutsche Bahn has deployed HD mapping technology for its new digital rail project, named Sensors4Rail.

Deutsche Bahn deploys HD mapping technology for digital rail project
Deutsche Bahn will install the sensor technology to a train, which will perceive and survey its settings, as well as precisely locate itself in real-time. Credit: Gabor Koszegi/Unsplash.

German railway company Deutsche Bahn has deployed HD mapping technology for its new digital rail project, named Sensors4Rail.

The new technology has been supplied by HERE Technologies through its location platform.

During the course of this pilot project, sensor-based train localisation and environment recognition will be tested for enhancing efficiency, consistency and railway system capacity.

Bosch, Ibeo and Siemens Mobility have also participated in the pilot project.

Deutsche Bahn will install the sensor technology to a train, which will perceive and survey its settings, as well as precisely locate itself in real-time.

This technology will allow the German railway firm to simultaneously operate more trains on the tracks.

With the help of the HD digital map, the train will be able to recognise and classify hurdles, enabling the control centre to react quickly.

Built on LiDAR-based data provided by Deutsche Bahn, the HD map has been created on the HERE location platform.

To identify changes in the environment, objects along the route such as buildings, poles, or platform edges have been fed as data for reference.

Deutsche Bahn is provided a private development environment by HERE for the independent management of its data.

The ownership and control of data will fully remain under Deutsche Bahn.

Program Digital Rail Germany head Dr Kristian Weiland said: “At Deutsche Bahn, we are going to use the advantages of digital technologies to increase the capacity and quality of the railway system. The HERE HD map helps us to locate our trains more precisely. This way we can run more trains, at shorter intervals, on our existing infrastructure.”

HERE Technologies chief product officer Jørgen Behrens said: “With our new private mapping offering, HERE’s location platform allows customers like Deutsche Bahn to create their own maps from proprietary sensor data, making use of the rich technical and operational mapmaking capabilities we have built and integrated into it.

“As HD mapping pioneers, it’s particularly good to see the concept of an HD map adding value in a different environment, beyond automated driving.”

The partners will present the project results at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Hamburg from 11 to 15 October, along with the live demonstrations of the test train.