At IFS, an autonomous rail bus, the Aachener Rail Shuttle, ARS, is under consideration for some time. The battery-powered railcar is about the same length as a standard scheduled bus, but 20% wider. It offers space for about 90 passengers. The maximum speed is 100 km/h.
The extremely light vehicle is designed for driverless operation on secondary lines in rural areas. It does not require infrastructure-side train protection and is considerably cheaper to purchase than conventional rail vehicles. By using several small units instead of one large train due to driverless operation, an attractive short interval can be offered in rural areas as well. Demand traffic is also conceivable at off-peak times.
Such a vehicle is urgently needed, especially in times when the Federal Government is reactivating numerous railway lines in rural areas (https://www.vdv.de/vdv-reaktivierung-von-eisenbahnstrecken.pdfx).
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