Automated Metros: Where is the driver?

4 July 2014  •  Author(s): Marc-André Klemenz and Florian Norrenbrock, DB International GmbH

Florian Norrenbrock, Operational and Transport Consultant, D B International GmbH

Florian Norrenbrock, Operational and Transport Consultant, D B International GmbH

Driver operated metro systems are still the dominant system around the world. However, operators are now more frequently operating fully or partially automated trains, especially for newly-built lines. Replacement of previous lines with new signalling, infrastructure and rolling stock is an increasing process for many metro systems. For Eurotransport, Marc-André Klemenz and Florian Norrenbrock from DB International GmbH cover the different operational aspects of automated metros.

A ‘state-of-the-art’ metro system is one that is operated with driverless vehicles, and many metros worldwide now operate with driverless trains as they can help to reduce the operational costs and of improving the frequency of services as well as improving overall safety.

There may be concerns that some passengers could be reluctant to travel on driverless or unattended trains. However, this concern is seen to be more of a perception than a reality given the widespread acceptance of such systems by passengers around the world and the proven safety record of such systems.

Grade of Automation (GoA)

In general there are two basic types for the automation of metros systems: driverless and with driver. These systems are then divided into five types of ‘Grade of Automation’ according to EN 62290.

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