Towards autonomously driving trains on tracks with open access

Oliver Gebauer, Wolfgang Pree, Gerhard Hanis, Burkhard Stadlmann

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Compared to automobiles on roads, trains have less degrees of freedom as they are bound to railroads. Thus, it should be more straight-forward to let them drive autonomously compared to automobiles. Several autonomous trains and subways already exist; however they operate on closed tracks. Typical examples are airport trains, also known as people movers. This paper sketches the conceptual, technical and legal challenges towards autonomously driving trains on existing railroads that are freely accessible and thus require reliable obstacle recognition. We try to generalize the experiences made so far in several large-scale research projects that aim at automating small, secondary railways. We summarize the results of a prototypical autonomous train system that we called autoBAHN.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 19th ITS World Congress
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event19th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, ITS 2012 - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 22 Oct 201226 Oct 2012


Conference19th Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress, ITS 2012


  • Autonomously driving trains
  • Cyber-physical systems.
  • Obstacle recognition
  • Secondary lines
  • Simulation of railroad traffic
  • Train control system


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