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The fully autonomous train will be in operation in 2023

The fully autonomous train will be in operation in 2023
photo: Nicolas Enriquez/Bloomberg News https://www.ttnews.com/articles/france-mulls-autonomous-trains/SNCF train
05 / 01 / 2021

A consortium of Alstom, Altran, Apsys, Hitachi Rail, Railenium and SNCF operated an autonomous GOA2 train in France with successful results. The acceleration and braking functions were fully automated. This project is followed by the Autonomous Train.

A consortium of the abovementioned companies was founded in 2018. The result of the cooperation was that the Prima BB 27000 locomotive, which was partially autonomous, ran along the line between Longwy and Longuyon. It is necessary to add that the locomotive was moving on the track with the ERTMS signaling system. Since the start of the project, over a hundred people have participated in it. Computer systems, software programming had to be solved. However, the goal was met.

This project can be seamlessly followed by other projects, such as the Autonomous Train project. This project sets significant goals for 2021. At the end of the year, another partially autonomous train should be in operation. The main difference will be that the track will be equipped with side signaling. It will therefore be a track before the introduction of ERTMS. This step should allow autonomous train control regardless of the type of the signaling system.

"This project is a major opportunity for Alstom to promote its skills and innovations in the field of rail automations and autonomous transport, thereby developing its leadership in new forms of autonomous and digital mobility," said Jean-Baptiste Eyméoud, President of Alstom France, the technical leader of the project.

Various functions are currently being developed that could lead to full train autonomy. For example, obstacle detection and environmental monitoring functions. A total of twelve test sessions should be scheduled. Thanks to them, it should be possible to gradually add further smart features.

A fully autonomous train should be put into operation by the consortium in 2023.

Thanks to the autonomous train, greater traffic flow should be maintained. There would also be an increase in capacity. And not to mention that energy costs should be also reduced.

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