Coming to Hamburg: Blazing Fast 5G Train Control

The same technology that now lets you stream videos and play games faster on your smartphone will soon be controlling driverless regional rail trains in Germany.

Metro Report International reports that DB Netz has selected Finnish telecommunications company Nokia to develop what the company calls the first “standalone 5G system for automated rail operation.” The demonstration project will be part of DB’s larger plan to convert much of Hamburg’s S-Bahn regional rail network to driverless operation in partnership with Siemens…

The trains will still have operators on board, but they will step in only when irregularities occur. Trains will be fully automated when they pull into or out of a roughly 1,000-meter (3,280-foot) siding at Bergedorf.

The project aims to test whether 5G is ready to perform its expected role as the train communications and control system of the future for digital railway operations.