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Finland prepares for unmanned cargo transportation

Finland prepares for unmanned cargo transportation
photo: Archives/Finland prepares for unmanned cargo transportation
15 / 08 / 2021

The Finnish project, which brings together about 20 different organizations, aims to develop a concept for unmanned short-distance freight transport by rail. The work is carried out in close contact with companies in the steel and timber industry, where road transport is traditionally used for transportation within enterprises or industrial clusters.

The project coordinator is Proxion, which is also responsible for the development of information systems. Sensors and software will be supplied by VTT. The rolling stock will be developed by Steel Wheel, while Electric Power Finland will be responsible for the implementation of digital systems on rail lines. Funding for the work is carried out by the project participants jointly.

The project is focused on the access roads of enterprises, where the safety requirements are lower than on the main lines. A train specially designed for the project will be able to transport up to 300 tons of cargo at a speed of up to 20 km / h. Two traction electric motors of 100 kW each will be powered by rechargeable batteries, the capacity of which provides a cruising range of up to 20 km. It is planned to use the GoA4 automated driving system running on top of the European ETCS train control system. The system will use radars, video, and infrared cameras, inertial sensors, satellite navigation, and reference point positioning technologies.

In 2021 - 2022 stages of research, development, modeling, and testing of equipment and software in laboratory conditions should be implemented. The launch of the pilot project is scheduled for 2023.