Deutsche Bahn unveils fully autonomous train in Hamburg

Deutsche Bahn unveils fully autonomous train in Hamburg

Deutsche Bahn unveils fully autonomous train in Hamburg

Deutsche Bahn and the international company Siemens have unveiled a new driverless train in Hamburg. The fully automated train will run on existing railway lines, joining Hamburg’s rapid S-Bahn network.

Fully automated train introduced to Hamburg

The state-owned rail company Deutsche Bahn and German technology company Siemens unveiled a fully automated train in Hamburg on Monday. “We are making rail transport more intelligent,” said Roland Busch, CEO of Siemens. Busch estimates that the driverless trains can transport “up to 30 percent more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and save more than 30 percent energy”.

The trains will run on Hamburg’s existing rapid S-Bahn network, with DB already planning to expand their use across local, regional and national lines by 2030. While all train functions and operations can be controlled digitally, a driver who can take full manual control of the train will be onboard passenger journeys should the train pass through a railway that is not fitted with the required technology.

A 60-million-euro project

The new train represents a 60-million-euro project for Deutsche Bahn and Siemens, both of which financed the project equally alongside the city-state of Hamburg. The train runs on a combination of two operating systems, Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and European Train Control System (ETCS), that can be retrofitted onto old trains and rail lines, making it easy to integrate on the city’s existing network.

Busch hailed the project as a "blueprint for digitalising the rails in Germany, Europe and the world." Siemens and DB called the advancement a “world-first”. While other cities and even airports have automated transport, this is the first that can integrate on existing infrastructure.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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