BB23.Q Towards a Safe Virtual Coupling


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Title Towards a Safe Virtual Coupling
Page Title BB23.Q Towards a Safe Virtual Coupling
Technology Line Security & Safety
Lead partner INDRA
Leader Francisco Parrilla
Contributors INDRA, MGEP, UPM, SAGOE
Related to Use Cases SCOTT:WP19
Description Currently two compositions, where a composition is a sequence of railroad carriages that form a unit, are joined by pneumatic, mechanical and electrical connections, doing the operation procedures with trains very difficult, expending a lot of time and personnel. At the same time, the current conections imply an interoperable restricition, because the compositions to be joined must be the same model or at least compatible. Self-configuring adaptive solutions providing plug-and-play features such as Virtual Coupling may solve this issue. In a Virtual Coupling, the compositions run together, as coupled, but without any physical connection, thus trains manufactured by different companies and with different interfaces could be virtually coupled, driven together by the leading cabin and sharing the same traffic slot. In this scenario, Virtual Composition solutions shall require a functional layer where the required business logic to allow different compositions to understand each other will be implemented. All this functional layer will also require V2V Communication support.
Main output A Smart Train Compositon Coupling Application (STCC Application) to support the virtual coupling between train compositions on the low- speed manoeuvring mode and the corresponding V2V communication support.
BB category SW component, HW component, Service
Baseline The virtual coupling mechanism is based on new technologies been developed or adapted for railways meaning a breakthrough in the TCMS (Traffic Control and Management System) field. In this sense, the European initiative Shift2Rail will lead the definition and development of the virtual coupling concept and the required technologies, as it is described in its Master Plan. First activities are currently ongoing within the initiative’s lighthouse project Roll2Rail. SCOTT activities associated to this BB and to the wider Smart Train Compositon Coupling Work Package (WP19) will be aligned with the Shift2Rail Programme Virtual Coupling concept and will contribute to this undertaking with innovative mechanisms to guarantee a safe distance between compositions based on reliable WSN technology.
Current TRL TRL 3 (The Virtual Coupling mechanism is based on new technologies been developed or adapted for railways (e.g., vehicle to vehicle communications for platooning systems). This TRL value is justified by analytic and laboratory studies (proofs of concept) that confirm the feasibility of introducing such a concept in railways, while the leverage effect coming from the car industry and their large scale sales will smooth the acceptance of he concept and moderate the costs).
Target TRL TRL 6-7 (This TRL value will be achieved by developing a prototype that will be demonstrated in a real environment. The demonstration will include the interworking with operative systems such as the train TCMS (Traffic Control and Management System)).