Fully automated depot has self-driving trams

August 27, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Fully automated depot has self-driving trams
Siemens Mobility and ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam have demonstrated a fully automated depot with self-driving trams for commercial roll out in 2026

The AStriD (“Autonomous Tram in Depot”) research project has demonstrated a fully automated depot using self-driving trams in Potsdam, Germany.

The consortium of Siemens Mobility, ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam, the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), the Institute for Climate Protection, Energy and Mobility (IKEM), and Codewerk began work on the project in 2019 and expects the technology to be market-ready in 2026. 

“AStriD is an important milestone on the way to achieving self-driving trams. Working with our partners, we are using valuable synergies to digitalize the depot and reduce time-consuming on-site shunting. By automating the depot, we can better support our customers in ensuring sustainable value growth over the entire lifecycle and guaranteeing the availability of their trams,” said Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock of Siemens Mobility.

“Autonomous driving along the tram route and within the depot relieves our drivers and increases the safety of our passengers and other road users,” said Uwe Loeschmann, CEO of ViP Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam. “Autonomous tram operation in our depot with the AStriD system opens up the possibility of automated cleaning, supply and parking processes with central control and increased operational safety.” 

“This is an important, future-oriented project. The participation of the state capital and its transport company shows how the spirit of innovation is thriving in Potsdam. If this new technology can be used in the coming years, it could help transport companies modernize local public transport. That’s why we’re pleased to be working as a project partner of Siemens on what we believe is a pioneering development,” said Potsdam Mayor Mike Schubert 

Siemens Mobility and Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam demonstrated a test tram operating under real road conditions on a section of Potsdam’s tram network in 2018, which led to the development of a digital depot.

Making depot automation commercially viable is thus a first stage of introducing autonomous driving, including the legal and economic conditions that must be fulfilled for the approval and operation of


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