zum Bild RailDriVE

Modern operating procedures with high demands on efficiency and safety call for a continuous, vehicle-based positioning system. The functionality of vehicle-based positioning sensor systems and the required communication systems can be simulated in the railway specific laboratory, RailSiTe. In order to demonstrate the quality demanded by standards and regulations the sensors must be field tested as well. For that, the institute has constructed the test and measuring vehicle RailDriVE. The RailDriVE is a half van, half railcar hybrid which has the capability to both drive to the test site, and deploy train wheels to run on tracks.

Equipment and Mission Scenarios

 Incremental encoder: wheel speed, path lenght, direction of travel
zum Bild Incremental encoder: wheel speed, path lenght, direction of travel

The equipment components of the two-way vehicle include various positioning and communication components. With these components, combinations of many sensors with different positioning information can be tested and evaluated. The two working stations inside the RailDriVE allow for a first online analysis of the collected data during field testing. Data collected from individual sensors and the quality of their signals is monitored on the pre-processing layer. The result of the fusion of sensory data on the vehicle’s side delivers a conclusion regarding the positioning performance of the analysed sensor combinations.

An integrated GPS module and wireless modem enables the deployment of the RailDriVE as a mobile Differential-GPS-reference-station or as a rover of the D-GPS system.


The RailDriVE serves the purpose of testing new positioning systems with and without safety responsibilities. It can be deployed as a platform for the testing of new positioning components (e.g. for the future European satellite-based navigation system) in the actual railway environment. Apart from that, the RailDriVE is suited for the use as a mobile laboratory for the testing of various sensor combinations. As a multi-purpose test and measurement car, the road-rail vehicle can also be deployed for the gathering and validation of a digital route atlas on the rail and on the road.

The possibility of equipping it with more sensor systems as well as the multi-purpose use on the road and rail establish a wide area of application. For example, equipping the RailDriVE with cameras to test the application of imaging techniques is scheduled.

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