ATO tests in GoA4

NETHERLANDS: Alstom, infrastructure manager ProRail and Belgian freight operator Lineas have completed testing of an automated shunting locomotive near Breda.

The Lineas diesel-hydraulic locomotive was fitted with Alstom’s automatic train operation system supporting Grade of Automation 4 unattended starting, movement and stopping.

ATO tests in GoA4 control

It was also fitted with a high resolution digital radar and multi-spectral electro-optic obstacle detection and recognition system developed by Elta spin-off NIART. This was shown to be capable of handling events such obstruction by a person, car or wagon or an incorrectly-positioned turnout, with the technology effective up to 500 m away from obstacles under real-world conditions.

ATO tests in GoA4 obstacle

Alstom said this paves the way for the broader usage of autonomous shunting. ‘We have shown that it possible to make trains see ahead and cope safely with the unexpected’, said Alstom’s Vice-President of Innovation & Smart Mobility Stéphane Féray-Beaumont on November 29. ‘The positive results prove that Alstom possesses the technology required to support operators with autonomous driving technologies that will ultimately improve operational performance on freight lines.’