implementation of a 24/7 shunting operation by means of sensors on the vehicle
modular components as guarantor for custom-fit solutions and integration
transparency of shunting procedures within the business
The shunting of rail vehicles is a significant factor in the production process or service provision of many private and public enterprises. Required raw material needs to be transported in freight wagons on rail from point A to point B within the factory premises or produced goods need to be shunted from the factory premises to the interface between industrial siding and public track for onward transportation. Nowadays, shunting operations are usually carried out by diesel driven shunting locomotives. Their use is not ecological, expensive and not future-proof due to the increasing lack of trained shunting personnel. These necessary shunting activities are oftentimes the weak point in an otherwise optimised and in many cases automated production or service process. This weakens not only the manufacturing companies but the rail freight transport in Germany overall.
The objective of project AuRa is the development of an intelligent shunting vehicle with automated drive which enables an optimal and automated shunting operation for 24 hours per day. The research is based on an existing shunting vehicle which can be operated on roads and on rails (so called road/rail vehicle).
Focus areas are the automated driving via a central scheduling system which is yet to be developed, obstacle detection, autonomous coupling and decoupling as well as safe and reliable positioning. In doing so, the individual application-related requirements have to be considered, meaning the altering operation on roads and rails. Furthermore, special attention has to be paid to safe use and protection against manipulation by unauthorised persons.
This project is being supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.