RailDriVE®: Railway Driving and Validation Environment

A testing vehicle for road and rail


The Institute of Transportation Systems has developed the RailDriVE® testing and measurement vehicle for the testing and development of continuous on-board positioning systems. This road-rail vehicle operates on the road for the preparation of tests and is then deployed directly to the test track as a railcar.

RailDriVE® offers a broad range of applications. It can be used to test new positioning components in order to assess interferences or to assist approval procedures under realistic conditions. For clients, DLR will itself develop suitable algorithms for fusing the various positioning sensor data, or assist them in such development work.

We can also test and evaluate different sensor combinations in

order to find the combination that is best suited to a client‘s re

quirements. Moreover, RailDriVE® is available to clients as a platform for the development of applications based on Galileo, the future European satellite navigation system.

In addition to its application in the testing and implementation of positioning systems, RailDriVE® is also used for track geometry measurement. From these measurements, digital route maps can be generated.

The option of combining vehicle-based positioning systems with wireless communications systems permits the development and testing of infrastructure-independent collision avoidance systems. These can provide additional protection, to improve the safety of shunting or driving in work site areas and on tracks where no technical safety system is in place yet.

RailDriVE®‘s portfolio also includes the logging of failures in the track superstructure.

RailDriVE® provides a flexible, adaptable platform for positioning tests and status logging of the rail track superstructure. The road-rail vehicle is equipped with a range of positioning and communications components. Thanks to its modular architecture, the basic configuration can be expanded at short notice if required.

The basic configuration comprises a GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) antenna and receiver including a GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and radio modem, to receive correction signals and thus determine the absolute position, the speed and the time. Doppler radars by various manufacturers, a distance pulse generator, and an optical sensor are installed to measure distance and speed, as is an eddy current sensor, which will also detect points. An inertial measurement unit provides information about the vehicle‘s yaw rate and acceleration. A balise antenna, an RFID antenna system and a laser scanner for monitoring the environment complete the range of on-board positioning sensors. The basic configuration comprises moreover an independent power supply and two computer workstations with an integrated time server for the synchronous logging of all sensor data.

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