The Finnish project, which brings together about 20 different organizations, aims to develop the concept of unmanned short-distance freight transport by rail.

Finland is preparing for unmanned rail freight
Picture: Proxion

The work is in close contact with companies in the steel and forestry industries, where road transport is traditionally used for transportation within enterprises or production clusters, reports Railway Supply magazine with reference to Proxion.

The project coordinator is Proxion, which is also responsible for the development of information systems. Sensors and software will be supplied by VTT. Steel Wheel will develop the rolling stock, and Electric Power Finland will be responsible for implementing digital systems on the railways. The works are financed jointly by the project participants.

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The project focuses on access roads for enterprises, where safety requirements are lower than on main lines. The train, specially designed for the project, will be able to transport up to 300 tons of cargo at speeds up to 20 km / h.

Two traction motors with a capacity of 100 kW will run on batteries, the capacity of which provides a range of up to 20 km.

It is planned to use the auto-guidance system with the level of automation GoA4, which works on top of the European train control system ETCS. The system will use radars, video cameras and infrared cameras, inertial sensors, satellite navigation and positioning technologies at reference points.

In 2021 – 2022, the stages of research, development, modeling and testing of equipment and software in the laboratory should be implemented. The launch of the pilot project is scheduled for 2023.

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