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Siemens Mobility and Cattron present a remotely operated tram in depot

“We plan to tap valuable synergies with our partners during the project as part of our work to digitalize and automate the personnel- and time-intensive switching processes used for trams,” said Daniel Hoepffner, the project head of depot automation and autonomous trams at Siemens Mobility With RTO, we have taken another step forward in the development of autonomous trams. This step will help our customers create long-term value throughout a tram’s life cycle and guarantee availability.”
Karsten Nitsch, the Managing Director of Cattron GmbH, added: “The Cattron components being used in the Autonomous Tram Potsdam project are based on experience gained in five decades of work with remote-controlled systems. The base concept has been drawn from practices traditionally used in switching operations for locomotives. We teamed with Siemens Mobility and combined time-tested methods with radically new ideas to create improved solutions that can do their part to overcome the complex challenges we face in our market.”
Acting as an initial stage in depot automation, RTO enables personnel- and time-intensive processes at a depot to be remotely operated by a control center. Such processes involve preparation of vehicles for scheduled service, switching in the service center or depot and the trip through the tram washing unit. The principle is based on a system that uses a SIL-certified radio connection between the land/vehicle side. The technology platform EC/LO Pro is used to perform the work. This is a system that was primarily developed to perform switching jobs for freight trains in accordance with EN 50239 / TSI LOC&PAS. The unique aspect of this platform is its combination of assistant program that provides the necessary visualization of the surrounding environment and possible obstacles and a remote-control system that facilities data transmissions at the required speed and over long distances while complying with security regulations. 
At InnoTrans 2018, Siemens Mobility and Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam presented a prototype for use in real tram operating conditions on a section of the Potsdam tram network for the first time. The goal of the project Autonomous Tram in Depot that grew out of this work is to develop a digital depot based on an autonomous tram. For this purpose, a consortium consisting of Siemens Mobility, ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam GmbH, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility and Codewerk GmbH began to jointly implement a fully automated tram depot in October 2019. From the start, the development work has focused on observing legal and commercial conditions required for the approval and operation of an autonomous tram. The three-year project is being funded by the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as part of a program called Modernity Fund (mFUND). 


Eva Haupenthal

Siemens AG

+49 152 01654597