Fully Autonomous Metro Inspected and Certified

9 September 2022 | Industrial Services: Railway experts from TÜV NORD China have inspected and certified the autonomous metro system of Shenzen.

Shanghai: For the local transport of the southern Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen with more than 17 million people, the railway experts from TÜV NORD China have for the first time comprehensively inspected and certified a complete autonomous metro system.

Line 20 connects Airport North with the Convention & Exhibition Centre. The inspections included the subsystems signalling, vehicle, platform screen doors, communication and interfaces to other external equipment, as well as the Integrated Supervisory Control System ISCS: it enables the retrieval of inputs for a large number of subsystems in trains, tunnels, passenger stations, substations and depots. “We are delighted to have been involved in this project and to have contributed our expertise”, says TÜV NORD China’s rail expert Gene Wang.

He and his team investigated whether the safety requirements for communication, signalling and data processing systems were met. In addition, assessments of reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS*) were thoroughly assessed. This Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) was based on the EN 50126, EN 50128 and EN 50129 standards. The work was carried out within the CNAS accreditation of TÜV NORD China.

Another important aspect was the assessment of the system taking into account the level of automation GOA4, the highest level of automation. In the Shenzhen railway system trains are fully automatic and run without drivers (UTO, unattended train operation). A control centre can intervene in the train operation.

The TÜV NORD team checked whether the main functions of the electronic system were designed in accordance with SIL4 requirements (Safety Integrity Level 4 according to the EN 50129 standard). The train protection system used here is the TACS (Train Autonomous Circumambulation System) developed by the Chinese signalling system manufacturer CASCO. Basically, the train protection is achieved by permanent communication between the trains and the driving conditions derived from this for each individual unit on the track.

Gene Wang is enthusiastic about the new line. "It's a very special feeling to travel on an autonomous metro, but to have seen all the safety technology for yourself makes the ride a very unique experience."

TÜV NORD, among other subjects, will be providing information about autonomous trains and the European Train Control System (ETCS) during the Innotrans industry trade fair from 20 to 23 September. The company can be found in the CityCube at booth 620.


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Annika Burchard Corporate Communications

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