Brussels / 2 & 3 February 2019


Autonomous Train Control Systems: a First Approach

Numerous small villages in Austria have lost their connections to the railway network because it was no longer cost-effective to operate under a regular schedule. To re-establish these connections, FH Campus Wien started the project "autonome, schienengebundene, on-Demand, open-Track Systeme" AuSoDoTS (Autonomous rail bound on-Demand Open Track systems). The project's objective is to develop a concept for how to safely operate small autonomous trains, without a fixed schedule. Trains are only approaching to stations when a passenger explicitly requests them by pressing a button at the station or using a mobile app. A short track from Liesing at the edge of Vienna to Kaltenleutgeben, a small town in Lower Austria, could be one of the first test locations.

As a first approach a small model railway has been built. The model has two purposes. One is to find the optimal placement for passing loops where trains can pass each other, since the connection is mostly single track. The other is to test different scheduling algorithms for on-Demand service. To fulfill the strict safety aspects of a passenger transportation system, the programming language Ada is used and in following versions SPARK will be used as it can be formally verified to be correct then.


Photo of Julia Teissl Julia Teissl