||Switzerland : SBB tests new driver assistance system but says drivers are still required
||SWISS Federal Railways (SBB) and Stadler have been conducting a test on a new digital train driver assistance system on the Bern - Olten super-fast line, and, a double-deck train has been automatically braked and accelerated with the train driver in attendance, for the first time in Switzerland.
The new driver assistance system is built on ETCS Level 2, which is deployed on the Bern Olten line, as well as a system developed by SBB for energy-efficient driving called Adaptive Steering (ADL) whereby the train follows a predetermined programme designed to cut power consumption.
SBB says the technology to further automate train operation must be designed to run across borders and be standardised for freight and passenger trains. Swiss railways are hence in contact with the European rail industry towards this end.
But, SBB clearly said it will not operate fully automatically with driverless trains. SBBs CEO Mr Andreas Meyer says that drivers are still required, and in any case he cannot imagine that passengers will feel comfortable without one.
SBB said, Job profiles are changing, but employees knowledge remains a key to targeting and using the new technology. SBB is continuing to develop these new competences in dialogue with its train drivers.
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