Germany’s DZSF to fund automated railway research projects

25 November 2020 (Last Updated November 25th, 2020 09:23)

German Center for Rail Traffic Research (DZSF) has agreed to provide €1.7m in funding for two research projects that seek to assess the safety of automated rail operations.

Germany’s DZSF to fund automated railway research projects
The aim is to define the criteria required for approving fully automated regional and mainline rail service. Credit: © Siemens.

German Center for Rail Traffic Research (DZSF) has agreed to provide €1.7m in funding for two research projects that seek to assess the safety of automated rail operations.

The two studies will particularly focus on Grade of Automation 3 (GoA 3) and GoA4, the two highest levels of automation with and without attendants, respectively.

Led by Siemens Mobility, the first project involves identifying the requirements that must be met in order to ensure that automated trains provide at least the same level of safety as manually operated trains.

TU Berlin and TÜV Rhineland will also be associated with the project as partners.

The second project involves comparing human and technical performances, as well as identifying the skills that the automated systems should learn to match the capabilities of a train driver.

This project will be led by TU Berlin while German Aerospace Center, DB Systemtechnik and Siemens Mobility will serve as partners.

Siemens Mobility Northeastern Europe CEO Gerhard Greiter said: “With these research projects, we are strengthening our position as a pacemaker for digitalisation and automated driving.

“We are counting on the advantages rail automation offers to passengers and operators alike. Whether it’s about punctuality, safety or energy efficiency – self-driving trains bring mobility to a new level. And we’re working on it.”

The two projects are scheduled to run for 30 months and expected to provide fresh impetus to the digitalisation of railways.

German railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) recently partnered with Siemens Mobility to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cell trains and ancillary infrastructure.

The hydrogen train is expected to begin trials in 2024.