Today’s Solutions: March 25, 2023

This year’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress is in Hamburg, Germany, and highlights mobility solutions and innovation. The congress opened alongside the exciting introduction of the country’s first fully automated “Digital S-Bahn Hamburg” tram.

German rail company Deutsche Bahn (DB) collaborated with Siemens to launch the digitally automated train and hopes that it will serve as “a blueprint for digitizing the rails in Germany, Europe, and the world,” Siemens CEO Roland Busch declared at the tram’s premier.

Before automated trams take over the world, however, DB will work on expanding its use across Hamburg, and by 2030, they hope that many of the country’s local, regional, and national lines will be digitized as well.

The cost of the €60 million ($69.4 million) project was split evenly between DB, Siemens, and the city-state of Hamburg. According to DB, the ability to complete digital control will allow for trains to run at shorter intervals, increase energy efficiency, and cut operating costs.

The project combines two operating systems, the Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and the European Train Control System (ETCS), both of which can be retrofitted onto existing trains and tracks. During the transition stage, when not all tracks are outfitted with the automation technology, these systems allow for a driver to manually operate trains should their route require them to. Everything else like starting, accelerating, decelerating, stopping, and shunting will be automated.

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