Autonomous Trains – A Leap Towards Safer Railway Transport
Globally ground-breaking autonomous train tests were carried out successfully in Finland. The aim of the initiative was to create completely new railway transportation services and to even double the amount of railway transport available. The initiative, led by Finnish Proxion in conjunction with around 20 other tech organisations, innovates an agile, low-emission transportation concept for large industrial enterprises. In the future, aim is to also bring autonomous passenger traffic to the rails.
Proxion is a Finnish leader in the development of rail traffic usability and agility. Goodmill Systems participated in the project with our multichannel router connectivity solution.
The project is a major leap towards future transportation. Railway transport is the most energy efficient way to transport goods by land. The innovative development of rail transport is therefore in a key position when developing transportation with lower emissions and better rail utilization.
The autonomous train project was piloted during 2022. The project simulated and tested the software and hardware of autonomous trains. The autonomous train is scheduled to become operational in 2023.
The objective of the pilot is at first to improve the operating conditions of the metal and wood processing industries that are important to Finland.Later, the focus will be aimed more broadly on rail transport, where both goods and people are transported.
The autonomous train unit in development is intended to be a low-emission and more cost-effective solution for short-distance industrial transport that is currently handled mainly by road transport. An increasingly important feature of the train is safety. Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT, the innovation partner of the development project, is involved in enabling safe automation on the rails.
The advantages of an autonomous train unit also include agility and the longevity of the invested infrastructure. In addition, it offers a solution to the problem of available drivers, because, as the name implies, an autonomous train runs independently without a driver.
Critical Continuous Connections
For the autonomous train pilot project to succeed it is extremely important to resolve the persistence of the ongoing mobile connection. That's why we, Goodmill Systems, were asked to join this exciting project.
The following type of Goodmill Systems multi-channel router was used in the project:
- Router model W24h-S
with 3pc 5G modems
- Operators: Elisa, Telia and DNA
- Both 5G and LTE usage
- Mobile IP tunnel for seamless connection
Router model w24h-S is designed for vehicle environments. Router was equipped with three modems each connecting to different mobile operator network: Elisa, Telia and DNA. Router is working in link aggregation -mode utilizing the uplink capacity of all three connections simultaneously. Tunnelling handles seamless migration between different operators' networks.
Benefits of the Solution
Reliable and safe operation in all conditions must be ensured on the track. Automated and integrated transportation increases the competitiveness and productivity of logistics, as railway transport is the most energy efficient way to transport goods by land.
In order to ensure the following statements, the mobile connection of the autonomous train must be secure and continuous:
- Increase safety
- Decrease CO² emissions
- Create autonomous, competitivities and agile train logistics
The Goodmill Systems router used in the project worked properly as expected and a continuous connection was guaranteed.
The pilot operation of autonomous train has been completed in 2022. The autonomous train is scheduled to become operational already in 2023. Autonomy in transportation is a global trend, and its execution is being innovated constantly. Goodmill Systems is proud to be part of this extremely interesting and successful pilot.
This case study is based on the Proxion article about autonomous train Autonomous train - Proxion.
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