Deutsche Bahn Wants Self-Driving International Train Network

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Deutsche Bahn has laid out their technology strategy for 2020 and if everything works according to plan, Germany’s national rail company will be made up of driverless trains and international travel.

In recent years the company has expanded into other modes of transportation, taking on bike and ride-sharing competitors, and now the hope is to transform the various modes of transportation into one cohesive system, making getting to your destination a lot more seamless.

Self-driving trains may not sound as far out as self-driving cars, as the train is already on a set track, but Deutsche Bahn’s CEO Rüdiger Grube told the WirstschaftsWoche that doing so would allow centralized control of the rail line. He stated that having a centralized control center would lead to an even more efficient system where traffic could be rerouted to avoid congestion.

DB 2020 Development Steps

What’s even more interesting in the 2020 strategy is Deutsche Bahn’s ambitious gaol of making a true international rail line across Europe and even Asia that is seamless for the customer. The strategy document laid out how this might look, stating:

To work across borders, the rail system needs to be optimized and further developed through international partnerships, and this includes harmonized infrastructure, interoperable vehicles and broadly applicable processes (authorization, maintenance and operations).

Deutsche Bahn has stated that it could take years to develop, produce and approve the technology, but work has already been going on to make sure the assets that will go into the operation have already been specified, and in some cases ordered, to meet the 2020 goal.

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Sources: Deutsche Bahn, Fast Company

Photo: kaffeeehnstein (Flickr) / CC BY-SA 2.0, Deutsche Bahn

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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