Nokia has been hired to develop a proof-of-concept to test whether 5G technology is mature enough to be used for what it claims is the world’s first standalone 5G system for automated rail operation.
The project, which will take place in Hamburg, Germany, is part of Deutsche Bahn’s automated S-Bahn operation project, a rapid railway network project in the city. Nokia said this project is an important step in the development of future railway systems that will be based on 5G and sets the stage for digital transformation of railroads.
Nokia is providing the networking, cybersecurity, internet of things (IoT) and analytics to more than 100 operators of both mainline and metro rail systems covering 109,000 kilometers of track in 22 countries. The Nokia 5G solutions is based on 3GPP for 5G mobile networks allowing for partial or fully automated trains that would use data with trackside equipment by 5G radio.
Using 5G will help boost cross-border operations, capacity of rail infrastructure, punctuality of trains and also the customer experience.
By 2021, Nokia expects highly automated trains with safety drivers on board to be operational on a 23-kilometer section of the S-Bahn Line 21 beginning at Berliner Tor, one of the main transport hubs in Hamburg.
Nokia will demonstrate the 5G-enabled train operation with shunting of empty trains in an area near Bergedorf station, with the control information over the Nokia 5G mobile network.