Knorr-Bremse has begun testing its digital automatic coupler (DAC) in real-world conditions on a freight train in Sweden.
This solution has been installed on a train operated by Trafikverket CFL, which will operate in Sweden until 2025.
Throughout this period, the vehicle is expected to cover around 100,000 kilometres each year. In particular, the coupling system’s durability will be tested during winter operations in icy conditions.
The test train currently includes six DAC test cars, but this number will eventually rise to as many as 20 test cars.
In addition, although Knorr-Bremse has initially installed the DAC with support for Automation Level 2, the train will later be equipped with couplers that support higher levels of automation.
“With our Digital Automatic Coupler, Knorr-Bremse is paving the way for the extensive implementation of smart functions in the rail freight industry, including process automation and smart maintenance for a more efficient train operation.
“Testing our systems under real-world conditions is another big step forward in developing advanced technologies for the rail freight sector. We expect the tests to provide us with valuable insights that will further concentrate and accelerate our development of market-ready solutions.”
Digital automatic coupling is expected to make European rail freight more efficient and flexible, facilitating the EU’s goal of shifting freight from trucks to greener rail transportation.
Knorr-Bremse anticipates that its test finding will enable the market launch of its DAC solution by 2025.
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