Autonomous driving on freely accessible railway tracks

Publication, 2018


B. Stadlmann, T. Penkner, S. Grünberger, S. Dumberger, J. Weichselbaum, T. Kadiofsky, W. Pointner - Autonomous driving on freely accessible railway tracks - Proceedings of Transport Research Arena Vienna 2018, Vienna, Austria, 2018


Autonomous vehicles are a rapidly emerging technology that will radically transform the face of public and personal transportation in the near future. The project autoBAHN2020 aims to promote this trend on local railway tracks to make them more attractive for passengers again. Trains, by concept, come with major shortcomings such as lack of privacy and inflexibility due to long cycle times and continuous stops. This problem could partly be overcome by splitting them up into multiple smaller trainlets while significantly reducing the cycle time and the number of passengers per trainlet. However, a train driver for each small trainlet would not be economically feasible, therefore a fully autonomous operation is required. Since many railway tracks are freely accessible, a sensor system for reliable obstacle detection is required. This technical paper will present the current state of the project autoBAHN2020 and its actual topics of research.