Siemens and Partners Launch “Autonomous Tram in Depot” Research Project
Siemens Mobility and partners are planning to undertake joint research on a fully automated tram depot. The project, called “AStriD” (Autonomous Tram in Depot), is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) as part of its “Modernity Fund” (mFUND) research initiative.
“AStriD is the next big milestone on the way to autonomous trams. By automating time-consuming shunting operations in the depot, we want to better support our customers in ensuring sustainable value creation over the entire lifecycle as well as guaranteeing availability,” said Sabrina Soussan, CEO of Siemens Mobility.
The research and development project will be carried out at the depot operated by ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam and aims at developing a digital depot based on the operation of autonomous trams. The project’s technical feasibility will be demonstrated with autonomous service operations in the depot, such as running trams through a washing bay onto a siding.
Depot automation is to be made commercially viable over the medium term as the first stage of autonomous tram driving. From its onset, the development project will consider the legal framework conditions necessary for the approval and operation of autonomous trams and the economic framework needed for operations. The AStriD project will be initiated in October 2019 and run for three years.