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World's first autonomous tram

The experimental tram is not designed for commercial purposes but aims to identify the technical challenges of driving in real-time conditions

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The test tram will be demonstrated on a 6km-section of tram network in Potsdam
The test tram will be demonstrated on a 6km-section of tram network in Potsdam

Siemens Mobility, together with transportation company, ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam, will present their research project on the world’s first autonomous tram at InnoTrans 2018.

 

Siemens will demonstrate a test tram driving autonomously in real traffic on 18-21 September on a six-kilometre section of the tram network in the German city of Potsdam.

 

Digital eyes and a brain

 

ViP has provided a Siemens Combino tram for the project. This experimental vehicle is equipped with multiple lidar, radar and camera sensors that serve as "digital eyes" by capturing the tram and its traffic environment.

 

At the same time, complex algorithms function as a brain by interpreting and evaluating data from the momentary operating situation, providing a prognosis for further development of the situation, then triggering an appropriate response by the tram.

“By making trains and infrastructure intelligent, we can guarantee availability and enhance safety in local and long-distance travel"

The tram’s artificial intelligence capability enables it to respond to trackside tram signals, stops at tram stops, and reacts autonomously to hazards such as crossing pedestrians and other vehicles.

 

"Our autonomous tram can already master essential operating tasks in real road traffic at this stage of development,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility. “By relying on the Siemens Tram Assistant collision warning system being used in, among other places, our Avenio M tram operating in Ulm, Germany, we have already reached series maturity – an important milestone on the way to autonomous driving.

 

“By making trains and infrastructure intelligent, we can guarantee availability and enhance safety in local and long-distance travel."

 

The experimental tram being used to demonstrate autonomous driving at the world premiere is not designed for commercial use. The current project aims to identify the technological challenges of autonomous driving under real-life conditions, then developing and testing solutions for them. A continuation of the cooperation is already being discussed with ViP.

 

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