\r\nMr Luc Laroche, director of SNCF\u2019s automatic train project, is pursuing a step-by-step approach to the development of main line ATO in partnership with others including German Rail (DB).\r\n\u201cWe don\u2019t want to develop ATO alone,\u201d Laroche says. \u201cATO should work over both ETCS and existing signalling systems. We don\u2019t want to put a driver on the train to cover gaps in the ETCS network. We also don\u2019t want to modify the infrastructure for ATO.\u201d\r\nSNCF expects to complete work on obstacle and signalling detection systems by the end of 2018. It is also working on a project for ATO GoA2 over ETCS to increase capacity on the Paris - Lyon high-speed line.\r\n\u201cWe are convinced that ATO is the future for rail and it will help to protect rail against future competition from autonomous cars and trucks,\u201d Laroche says.