Work is now underway to equip a class 472 commuter train with high-range ibeoNEXT LiDAR sensors and a real-time vehicle tracking system.

The technology employs sensors and ‘digital twin’ technologies and is intended to enable trains to digitally monitor their surroundings and avoid potential disruptions within braking distance, as well as track their position in real-time relative to other vehicles to enable shorter intervals between trains. The technology will function as a support for train drivers, with a driver remaining aboard.

The system will enable precise tracking of trains within a margin of error of 1cm, and will employ objects along the route, such as buildings, bridges or platforms, as references to compare actual and target statuses. The system is intended to be reliable even in fog or at night.

The Sensor4Rail project is a collaboration between German Rail (DB), Siemens Mobility, Bosch Engineering, Ibeo Automotive Systems and Here Technologies, and is being developed with a view to supporting the German federal government’s target of encouraging a modal shift to rail to achieve its climate goals.

As part of the project:

  • DB is responsible for project management, vehicle engineering, approval and safety
  • Siemens is supporting vehicle integration, and is responsible for the system tests and the localisation of the train front position using a modern odometry unit with the integration of GNSS satellite positioning
  • Bosch (radar, infrared long-range, mid-range and stereo cameras) and Ibeo (LiDAR sensors) are responsible for realising the perception of the surroundings, and
  • Here is supplying the HD 3D mapping technology to enable the train to be located on the route.

“With this project we are showing impressively that our solid state LiDAR sensor is also the perfect technology for rail,” says Mr Raymond Schulz, solution manager for perception in multi-sensor systems at Ibeo Automotive Systems. “Our sensors enable a highly precise perception of the surroundings in all three dimensions and localisation while driving.”

Sensors4Rail will present the results of the tests at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Hamburg, between October 11-15 2021, and will offer live demonstrations at the event.