first automatic train


DB (deutsche bahn), in collaboration with siemens mobility, reveals the world’s first self-driving train in the city of hamburg. the project is part of the ‘digital rail for germany’ initiative and its goal is to develop automated S-bahn operations that can be implemented for all rail transport worldwide. ‘digitalization is the key to improve availability, automation, connectivity, and sustainability in rail infrastructure.’


in a pilot project starting this month, four vehicles will operate automatically between the berliner tor and bergedorf/aumühle stations on s-bahn line 21, adherent to the european standard ‘ATO (automatic train operation) over ETCS (european train control system)’.





a simple push of a button 


the project is a partnership of DB, siemens mobility, and the city of hamburg, which received a total investment of 60 million euros. ‘a simple push of a button by the train driver is all it takes, and the highly automated passenger journey begins.’ the train is managed by digital technology and is completely automated. shunting, such as turning the train around, is done in the absence of on-board personnel. however, a driver stays on the train to control the journey, but in the future, drivers will only need to intervene if there are irregularities.


‘in hamburg, we’re starting to digitalize operations in a major german s-bahn network. this is a milestone in our future-oriented digital rail for germany program because it marks the launch of the greatest technological change in years.’ ronald pofalla, member of the deutsche bahn management board for infrastructure.


meet the world’s first fully automated driverless train in hamburgall images courtesy of siemens mobility



more frequent trains, and more travel comfort


one of the main advantages of ‘ATO over ETCS’ is the increase in rail network efficiency due to shorter headways.  information on the current traffic status is transmitted via radio, which makes the train run more efficiently, with an optimal speed profile and fewer braking operations. the new technology can optimize boarding and deboarding times, which reduces stop times, while the result is more reliable trains, a more stable timetable, and travel comfort.


‘we are supporting our partner deutsche bahn in its goal of making train travel more attractive and protecting the climate. with our technology, our customers can transport up to 30 percent more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and save more than 30 percent energy,’  said dr. roland busch, CEO of siemens AG. 




meet the world’s first fully automated driverless train in hamburg
the world’s first automatic train in germany