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The railway has invented "autonomous driving"

Long-distance passenger transport: Easy and economical acceleration
Matthias Fritsche
Matthias Fritsche
Product Manager, HARTING Electronics
Long-distance passenger transport: Easy and economical acceleration

While passengers bask in deceleration inside, massive forces of acceleration are at work outside. The journey is towards the future – the future being the automotive industry bringing its concept of autonomous driving onto roads and further reducing the comfort gap compared to customers who ride by rail. Rail travel has always enjoyed what self-driving cars promise: active leisure, instead of useless travel time.

More competence in the cable: Small, light, powerful

In order to secure this competitive advantage over the long term, rail passenger transport has to come up with a number of things for its customers: on-board and entertainment systems are already a "must" and require several kilometres of cables. Accelerating every single gram of weight takes a lot of energy over the lifecycle of every railroad car.In addition, higher data volumes and the parallel transmission of power (remote power) demand significant amounts of wiring.

Conclusion: Components must be smaller, lighter, yet several times more functional.

A heavier vehicle weight also burns up more energy in order to accelerate and ends up simply costing the operator more money to boot.

Matthias Fritsche, Product Manager, HARTING Electronics

Single Twisted Pair – slim down for more power

The tasks of traditional bus systems, e.g. control and communication, are increasingly assumed by Single Twisted Pair Ethernet (SPE). Based on the IEEE 802.3 transmission standard, this technology is impressive thanks to simultaneously supplying data and voltage while also saving weight and space.
In addition, the entire wiring is easier and faster to install.

Gewichtsreduktion in der Bahnindustrie

Ready for the future:

  • 15 kg less weight per km of cable while offering the same bandwidth
  • Approximately € 10,000 savings/kg at approximately 40 years’ service life per train*
  • Uniform Ethernet standard IEEE 802.3
  • An interface for data and power transfer
  • SPE research activities for future-oriented transmission channels

 *Source: Cost calculation railway operators

For future decision-makers in railway technology

  • Ethernet via Single Twisted Pair and small T1 connectors
  • High transmission rate: 1Gbit/s according to IEEE 802.3bp (1000 BASE-T1) with 40 m cable
  • Minimal weight: 1-pair Ethernet cables are 1/3 lighter than 8-wire Ethernet cables
  • High energy savings per wagon
  • Space saving during installation
  • International standards, cabling standards, installation guidelines and limit values
  • Factors in current research results


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