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Train transport of the future

Bosch Engineering is part of DB-Project “Sensors4Rail” and working on automated driving in rail traffic


Less traffic, less congestion and a few harmful emissions on the road. More passenger transport and freight traffic on the rail way. The future of mobility is rail.

The sector initiative “Digitale Schiene Deutschland” creates more


reliability and


for the railway system without building a single new track. The foundation for this are connected with modernization and digitalization of infrastructure. On this bases intelligent future technologies continue to get integrated in the system.

The future project with “Deutsche Bahn” implements together with several industrial partners as part of “Digitale Schiene Deutschland” is “Sensors4Rail”. The goal is equip trains with sensors technology for environmental inception and real time localization enabling even tighter scheduling of trains. This enables higher utilization of the rail network. The challenge is the combination and integration of various technologies from completely different industry sectors.

In the first step of the project it was the goal was to realize the project. Together with four partners from the industry and technology sector, this goal was worked on.

In the Sensors4Rail project of the Digitale Schiene Deutschland the partners Bosch Engineering (radar, long- and mid-range infrared and stereo camera) and Ibeo Automotive Systems (Lidar sensors) were responsible for realising environmental perception and object detection. Source: DB Netz AG/Digitale Schiene Deutschland

Each of the industry partners is contributing its part to the project:

Deutsche Bahn provides the vehicle and the infrastructure and oversees the system design, vehicle engineering and conversion.

Siemens Mobility leads the system tests and determines the exact train location with a advanced localization method.

HERE Technologies creates a digital HD map using high position lays and enabling the positioning.

Ibeo Automotive Systems supply the Lidar-Sensors for the object recognition.

Bosch Engineering GmbH is also, along with Ibeo, an important partner for realising environmental perception and object detection with radar, long- and mid-range infrared and stereo camera. The systems consist of a multi purpose camera, a radar sensor, and a control unit, the system monitors the track ahead and any possible obstacles in front of the vehicle in real time. If it detects a potential collision, it sends a warning to the driver. Especially in congested traffic or poor visibility conditions, the system warns the driver about obstacles on the rails in plenty of time.

The complexity of the individual hardware components that are required for the system environment can be seen here:

The figure schematically shows the system environment with test vehicle including hardware and software. Source: DB Netz AG/Digitale Schiene Deutschland

With a train length of 60 meters, 45 special hardware components, 3500 small parts were installed and 4.3 km of cables were laid.

The environment perception, localization and digital map are the subsystems already integrated. These have already been implemented and tested in the project.

Source: DB Netz AG/Digitale Schiene Deutschland

This means that the project phase 1 has now been completed. Sensors4Rail is entering its next phase. Numerous research runs are planned from 2022 and 2023. In this second phase, the focus will be on data acquisition. Additional routes will be developed in the Hamburg S-Bahn network to gain further insights into the performance of the functions in different scenarios and route sections. In addition, the collection of data will be expanded in terms of diversity to see how the technology performs in a wide range of weather conditions.

Bosch Engineering will also continue to drive the second phase of the project by contributing its expertise.

Your direct contact for all queries regarding DB-project "Sensors4Rail"