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Germany Introduces World’s First Self-Driving Train That Doesn’t Need New Tracks
By Alexa Heah, 13 Oct 2021
Image via Siemens
German rail company Deutsche Bahn has partnered up with industrial giant Siemens to work on the world’s first fully-automated, driverless train.
The first of such trains will run in Hamburg, and is touted to be the more efficient than current offerings, both in energy use and time.
Interestingly, these new trains will not require any new tracks or infrastructure. They’ll be able to move on the same tracks as existing trains, and will start running as part of the city’s S-Bahn rail network starting December.
Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, said these new trains are “a more reliable” service for passengers, and can be adopted “without having to lay a single kilometre of new track.”
While driverless trains already exist in other parts of the world like Paris and Singapore, these railway systems often run on single-lane tracks exclusively built for them. The German version differs here, as its autonomous trains will run on the same tracks and routes as regular ones.
According to TechXplore, the project is part of a bigger plan to reinvent Hamburg’s train system, which could cost the city up to US$70 million.
Siemens CEO Roland Busch estimates that the autonomous trains will contribute “up to 30% more passengers, significantly improve punctuality, and save more than 30% energy.”
This exciting project proves the old adage that there’s nothing quite like German efficiency.
[via TechXplore, cover image via Siemens]
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