2020/12/14

"Digital eyes" make trains smarter

Industry project tests sensors on Hamburg S-Bahn vehicle • Test runs to begin in early 2021 • Deutsche Bahn Board Member Ronald Pofalla: "Deutsche Bahn secures traffic growth on the railways with industry partners"

In Hamburg, Digitale Schiene Deutschland is writing the future. In future, ultra-modern sensors will be able to perceive the surroundings of trains and determine their locations in real time. In a joint project with industry and specialist partners called Sensors4Rail, Deutsche Bahn is initially equipping a Hamburg S-Bahn train with the technology of the future.

Deutsche Bahn Board Member for Infrastructure Ronald Pofalla: "We are speeding up the Digitale Schiene Deutschland for more capacity in the network. Smart technology will make switches and vehicles more intelligent and rail traffic noticeably more robust. A real plus for our customers and the entire sector. In this way, together with our industry partners, we are securing traffic growth on climate-friendly rail."

The innovative sensor technology automatically monitors the environment in front of and next to the train and thus helps to avoid possible disruptions. In addition, it allows precise positioning of the vehicle in real time by comparing it with a digital map, thus enabling shorter distances between trains. This creates more space on the track without additional upgrading and renewal of the infrastructure. The Sensors4Rail system is used to support the driving personnel, while the locomotive driver remains on board.

Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility are contributing their railway expertise to Sensors4Rail. Bosch Engineering, HERE Technologies and Ibeo Automotive Systems are leaders in the automotive sector in the development of sensors and software for environment perception and localisation.

Andre Rodenbeck, CEO Rail Infrastructure, Siemens Mobility: "The Sensors4Rail cooperation project is a unique example of how digitalisation can help improve and increase the capacity of rail transport. Siemens Mobility is proud to provide the technology for this innovative project."

Heiko Mangold, Head of Rail Technology Business Unit at Bosch Engineering GmbH: "We benefit from Bosch Automotive's long-standing and comprehensive expertise in the field of sensor technology and will now also apply this to rail."

Jørgen Behrens, Senior Vice President and Chief Product Officer at HERE Technologies: "The HERE platform enables customers like Deutsche Bahn to create their own maps from sensor data. Through the technical tools we have developed for this, they can combine them with HERE maps and use them in a variety of ways."