Germany Starts Testing Smart Trains With HD Maps Provided by HERE

Deutsche Bahn will present the test results in October 1 photo
Photo: Rancher
The tech revolution has pushed the automotive industry to a completely new level, and now it’s getting ready to expand even more in the railroad sector too.
Deutsche Bahn has announced a digital rail project called Sensors4Rail whose purpose is to help test sensor-based train localization and environment recognition. While this might sound like rocket science at first, the idea behind this project is much simpler.

The Germans want their trains to get smarter, so they’re installing sensors and other hardware that would help collect data and allow for two-way communications to improve the overall efficiency. This would allow the local authorities to increase the railway system capacity, too, as more trains would be able to run on tracks simultaneously and operate more efficiently with zero risks.

One of the essential components of this project is the mapping software the trains would use to tell a central server where they are and thus facilitate the two-way communications we told you about earlier.

This means the trains must be able to determine their locations, analyze the surroundings, recognize obstacles, and transmit all this information to the control center where a response would be offered in no time.

The mapping software would be powered by HERE, which is working together with Bosch, Ibeo, and Siemens as part of the project.

Based on proprietary LiDAR-based data provided by Deutsche Bahn, the HD map for this project is built on the HERE location platform, leveraging HERE HD mapping technology. The data includes objects along the route, such as buildings, poles, or platform edges, which serve as a reference to detect changes in the environment. In effect, the map becomes the digital twin of the railway and its immediate surroundings. Through its location platform, HERE provides Deutsche Bahn with a private development environment to independently manage its data. The data remain fully under the ownership and control of Deutsche Bahn,” HERE explains in a press release, also embedded below.

The results of the tests are scheduled to be announced in October along with live demonstrations of a test train.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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