Modern tram in Toronto downtown at sunset

The Germany-based automation company, Siemens, is set to unveil the world’s first autonomous tram through its division Siemens Mobility, Global Rail News reports.

Siemens, alongside its development partner Verkehrsbetrieb Potsdam (ViP), will present their findings at InnoTrans 2018 to show how a tram will drive autonomously in real traffic on 18-21 September.

It is expected to provide multiple lidar, radar and camera sensors that use “digital eyes” by filming the tram and its environment around traffic.

The tram reacts to trackside tram signals, stops at tram stops and responds autonomously to hazards like pedestrians and other vehicles due to its artificial intelligence capability.

It is anticipated that the project will reveal the technological challenges of autonomous driving under everyday conditions, which can then be developed and tested to accelerate research.

Siemens Mobility CEO, Sabrina Soussan, said: “Our autonomous tram can already master essential operating tasks in real road traffic at this stage of development.”

“By relying on the “Siemens Tram Assistant” collision warning system being used in, among other places, our Avenio M tram operating in Ulm, Germany, we have already reached series maturity – an important milestone on the way to autonomous driving.”

“By making trains and infrastructure intelligent, we can guarantee availability and enhance safety in local and long-distance travel.”

The tram is believed to have been created solely for research and development uses only, with it not thought to be utilised for commercial use.