[SystemSafety] underground trains without drivers

From: Robin Cook < >
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 21:55:00 -0000


On the general subject.  

For one man operation trains it makes more sense to automate the driving role and leave a person to deal with people. Over-ground as well as underground. It is then a useful step to train the 'guard' to act as a driver in degraded modes.  

Docklands Light Railway fitted the capability of moving to no-man operation back in 1992 with controls on the outside so that a train could be despatched from the platform. Does anyone know if they have ever had the courage to use this option?  

As for Peter's divergent thread on road traffic. That's a different ball game. Trains are well regulated. You know what is on the line (apart from the odd track trolley - and the maintainers are trained not to leave them lying around). Water traffic could be worse - there's no law against putting to sea in a bathtub. However the Automatic Identification System (AIS) already broadcasts position including speed, turn rate etc. for bigger vessels. Can anyone comment on the spread of automation on water?  

I am aware of three bow on stern collisions in two years in the English Channel a few years ago. That was automatic navigation and failure to keep a satisfactory look-out using navigation systems that were so accurate that when everyone put the same turning points in they all followed the same course to with a ship's beam. Nor did they have automatic separation systems. Even with AIS now, that is only mandatory on larger vessels and can be switched off (functionality provided for pirate infested waters!).  

Best regards

Robin Cook



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systemsafety_at_xxxxxx Received on Thu Jan 24 2013 - 22:54:52 CET

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