Technology is leading the way in the global transportation sector as the world’s first self-operating train, the digital S-Bahn, made its first run at the opening of the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress (ITS) in Hamburg, Germany.
The train was developed by the city of Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn, and the technology group Siemens. This 60-million-euro project is determined to bring the railway infrastructure into the digital age by the next decade. Though autonomous trains have been around for some time, this concept is an open system, which is compatible with any railroad that can handle the technical standards, so no new track construction is needed.
“It’s a blueprint for the digitization of the railways in Germany, Europe and around the world,” according to Siemens CEO Roland Busch.
There are many benefits to this automatic train: It enables operators to transport 30 percent more passengers, save more than 30 percent of energy, and dramatically improve punctuality for timetables. For safety, a driver remains on the train to supervise the journey while passengers are on board. The trains are still fully automated, receiving control signals via radio, and can undertake shunting, or switching, without the help of human staff.