Energy – more important than ever before...
In times of turmoil – “Fridays for Future”, soaring fuel prices, geopolitical upheaval – it’s increasingly clear that the careful use and stewardship of energy is essential for stable sustainability. It’s been a long time since we’ve been so painfully aware of just how important – and how valuable – energy really is. The good news is that every single one of us can help optimize energy usage by tweaking our lifestyles, energy footprints, and other aspects of our lives, including what we eat, what we wear, how we travel – and how the goods we buy are transported. What prices are we prepared to pay for these things? What compromises are we willing to make?
It’s clear to everybody that rail transportation is already one of the most sustainable forms of motorized mobility for people and freight. Now the rail industry is striving to further reduce its energy footprint by introducing new technologies and integrating data-driven systems.
Driver Advisory Systems help save energy
Energy-saving Driver Advisory Systems are basically navigation systems that save energy by taking account of timetables, topography and – ideally – regular updates on current traffic conditions. By analyzing all these parameters, they offer drivers valuable driving assistance that makes rail transportation even more energy-efficient. It takes huge amounts of energy to get a 5,000-tonne freight train back up to speed after – often avoidable, unscheduled – deceleration. It’s quite possible to avoid this kind of unnecessary energy consumption by making the most of an integrated DAS. One of our DAS products, currently installed in the cabs of DB Cargo trains across Germany, delivers average annual energy savings of at least 5% while cutting carbon emissions.
Connected Driver Advisory Systems – c-DAS
Beyond the information of timetable and topography, c-DAS also take live traffic information into consideration. Since the integration of such live operating updates – ZLR messages, known as “Green Functions” – circulated by DB Netz AG, the activation rate of DB Cargo’s LEADER system has risen to over 90%. ZLR messages include advice on how to adjust speed to avoid predicted conflicts arising from infrastructure occupancy. This helps to avoid unscheduled slowdowns or stops and keeps rail traffic running smoothly – a major advantage, especially for freight train operators.
DAS and mobile devices
DB Cargo’s LEADER DAS currently runs on a panel PC in the driver’s cab. But following a European market survey carried out in 2020, Knorr-Bremse realized that an overwhelming majority of the operators who took part would prefer to run such solutions on mobile devices. So we’ve teamed up with a partner who specializes in “tablets in the driver’s cab”: CN-Consult GmbH .
LEADER4DiLoc is an energy-saving DAS for mobile devices, developed and operated by both partners for and in the European rail freight market. It is implemented on CN-Consult’s DiLoc|Sync software platform, with its various applications, a “Swiss Army knife of digitalization” for train drivers’ cabs.
LEADER4Tablet is a Knorr-Bremse own application for mobile devices with the same interface as the software already used by DB Cargo. This solution is ideal for operators who only use the tablet for displaying energy-saving driver assistance data. But it’s also perfect for operators who already use other systems with which LEADER4Tablet could be integrated.