Autonomous trains is the most sophisticated technology in the field of railway transport system. Technologically advanced system are used in trains to operate it without the aid of a driver and the safety of the passengers is increased. These trains are furnished with high-powered cameras, latest sensors, GPS data, and onboard computer systems. Autonomous train operation consist of different components which can be automated and based on the automation of components the Grades of Automation (GoA) are decided. The automation of train also consist of passenger safety technology which are included in autonomous train protection. Different terms used in autonomous trains market are: Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO), Automatic Train Control (ATC), Semi-Automatic Train Operation (STO), Driverless Train Automation (DTO), and Unattended Train Operation (UTO).
Railways are considered the most efficient and safe means of transportation compared to highways due to fewer number of accidents recorded. Hence the key market drivers of autonomous trains market are increased demand for safety, increased demand for speed and efficiency, and the government support for implanting automation in the trains. Implementation of automation technologies in trains is proved to be more useful for reducing the number of accidents and pollution, reducing the load on the fossil fuels, and increasing the efficiency. However the cost of train automation is very high which could slow the growth of the autonomous trains market coupled with the high possibilities of hacking the system.
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Continuous research and development in the field of automation technology, increased concentration of manufacturers on developing trains implemented with some grade of automation, and government support have unveiled great opportunities for the autonomous trains market.
Subway/Metros Exhibit Higher Rate of Automation
The Autonomous Trains market has been segmented into three categories: based on grade, based on train type, and region. In terms of grades, the autonomous trains market is segregated as GoA1 + GoA2, GoA3, and GoA4. GoA1 trains consist of ATP with driver and all other components are operated manually. GoA2 trains have ATP and ATO with driver, automatic accelerating and stopping of train, and other functions are controlled manually. In the GoA3 trains train is operated automatically without the aid of driver. In these trains setting train in motion and stopping train are performed automatically, doors are operated by train attendant. In GoA3 trains, stopping the train in case of disruption is done by the train attendant. The GoA4 trains are fully automated and are unattended.
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In terms of train type the autonomous train market is segmented as long distance train, Suburban trains, tram, Monorail, and subway/metro. Subway/metros has higher rate of automation. Followed by the suburban trains. Monorails were developed in Germany in 1990, and growing in the other regions too.
Asia Pacific Emerges Dominant due to Increased Rate of Train Track Laying
In terms of region, the Autonomous trains market has been classified into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Currently the Asia Pacific region is dominating the autonomous trains market. Increased rate of train track laying, awareness about the technologies and government support for the implementation of the autonomous technologies in the train, these factors are leading the Asia Pacific in the market of autonomous trains.
Benefits of train transportation, increased emphasis of governing bodies for automation of railways, and future scope for the automation are attracting the global key players for developing technologically advanced trains. For this the key players are concentrated on merger, acquisition, and collaboration amongst them and governing bodies of different countries. Global key players in the market of autonomous trains are Thales Group, Alstom S.A., Hitachi Ltd., Bombardier Transportation, Ansaldo STS, SIEMENS AG, Mitsubishi Electric, and CRRC Corporation limited.