Stephan Zieger: Probabilistic Operating Concepts for Highly Automated and Autonomous Rail Vehicles in Rural Areas



Stephan Zieger

Former doctoral researcher


The need for mobility and the resulting ecological, economical and social consequences are one of the key challenges for the next decades. In many rural areas the increasing urbanisation leads to a shift in mobility. The public rail transport offer is usually decreased and the private motorized transport accordingly increases its shares. This might lead to railway line discontinuations. Modern technologies allowing the use of highly automated trains and communication technology on one side and flexible transportation concepts like Dial-aRide transport on the other side can make a contribution in tackling these challenges. An on-demand rail service with small highly automated vehicles is proposed and its feasibility is researched. Stephan Zieger models the Dial-a Ride problem of railways in rural areas, which is solved to optimality by means of mathematical programming. The various and interdependent relationships as well as uncertainty lead to a strong increase in the number of constraints. In a second part the behaviour is analysed when rule-based decisions are taken into account. The implementation in a simulation environment can indicate which decision rules are adequate for a reliable and high-quality service. Zieger reduced his working time by 50% due a parental leave for about one year.