oday, Germany’s first semi-autonomous digital train rolled into service on the S-Bahn in Hamburg. The train was developed through a joint project by city authorities, Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility. What makes this train unique and ‘digital’, as transport authorities put it, is that it can perform a range of functions through software that does not require human input.
Furthermore, the innovative train concept brings with it promises of increasing capacity by around 30% without upgrading the rail infrastructure itself. Instead, because of the innovations in the control section, S-Bahn Hamburg can run more trains safely…
Importantly, although the digital train represents the next step for trains, it does not require major redevelopment of the lines, meaning that it can be launched everywhere.
Also, the train is not completely autonomous. Although it can accelerate, stop, open and close doors by itself, a trained driver will be monitoring the situation on board and also assist with turning.