Head of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov: “We are Faced with the Task of Creating an Unmanned Transport System”

The holding held a council on the implementation of the Lastochki control system in automatic mode

The holding held a council on the implementation of the Lastochki control system in automatic mode |  Passenger Transportation

A scientific and technical council on the project of introducing the Lastochka electric train control system in automatic mode was held at JSC Russian Railways. 

The event, which was held via video communication, was attended by representatives of the Russian Railways holding, rolling stock manufacturers, research and scientific organizations, the holding’s press service reported.

In his speech, Oleg Belozerov, General Director – Chairman of the Management Board of JSC Russian Railways, called the development of automatic vehicle control systems one of the long-term global trends.

“Research and testing have been conducted at Lastochka since 2017. During this time, a large amount of data has been accumulated, the foundation for practical work has been laid. We are faced with the task of creating an unmanned transport system where the infrastructure and the train will interact in a fully automatic mode with one hundred percent safety and reliability, ”he said.

The Moscow Central Circle , one of the busiest European railway lines, where the number of passengers has increased by a third over the past 3 years, was chosen as a testing ground for testing the technology of driving . If at the start of the ring, trains followed it at intervals of 6 minutes during rush hour, now – every 4 minutes. 

To further shorten the interval, automatic control of electric trains is necessary, which will reduce the risks of traffic safety violations due to human factors.

“We need to solve a number of the most difficult scientific, technical and technological problems. We must ensure compliance with the fourth – highest – level of automation according to the international classification. In parallel, together with the authorities, it is necessary to form a regulatory framework, ”said Oleg Belozerov.

Currently, one of the Lastochka electric trains has already been equipped in accordance with the third level of automation (GoA3) , which includes automatic control of movement and stopping, but requires human participation in closing / opening doors and controlling in emergency situations. 

The train is equipped with positioning equipment on the infrastructure with an automatic guidance system and an obstacle detection unit on the way, equipment for communication with the remote control center. A prototype of the operator’s workplace was also developed and the creation of a neural network and a digital model of the MCC was tested. In unmanned mode, the electric train is able to follow the energy-optimal schedule, and when an obstacle is detected, it can automatically work out the braking and stopping algorithms.

At the fourth level of automation (GoA4), the control system will perform the entire complex of train management, monitoring and diagnostics of on-board equipment, and automatically open and close doors. In this case, 3 control modes will be possible: by the driver from the cab, remotely (from the workplace of the driver-operator) and automatically.

In the near future, the Russian Railways holding, together with its partners, will have to develop design documentation for the Lastochka electric train for automatic operation, and approve standards in the field of automatic rolling stock control.

Algorithms of technical vision and software for remote dispatch control will be developed and tested, taking into account the increased requirements for information security. The leading Russian centers of competence in the areas of artificial intelligence creation based on machine learning, the development of specialized neural networks and other areas of scientific knowledge are involved in the work. Also, broadband communication systems based on LTE technology will be deployed on the MCC infrastructure.

“We have to create absolutely new professions, simulators, train people to work in new conditions,” Oleg Belozerov noted.(Gudok.ru)

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