Shift2Rail logo A body of the European Union


Total Project Value:
€ 4 559 803,03
from 01/12/2020 to 31/05/2023
S2R (Of H2020) co-funding:
€ 1 955 260,76
Javier Goikoetxea
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A.


Today automatic operation in metros and people movers is a reality. Most modern metro lines implement or are prepared for high grades of automation (GoA4). Experience has demonstrated enormous benefits where automatic train operation (ATO) is in place, such as:
  • Increased capacity;
  • Reduced energy consumption (up to 20% less);
  • Reduced components’ wear and tear for both train and track components;
  • Increased availability and punctuality of the system due to increased resilience;
  • Economic competitiveness by increased capacity;
  • Lower operating costs with simultaneously increased system resilience, or;
  • Better offer and more flexibility by real-time adaptation to the demand.

These benefits could also be provided by more automated and autonomous operations in other rail transport segments, such as regional and suburban trains, high-speed trains, freight trains or light rail and tramways. Indeed, in the future envisaged autonomous mobility ecosystem the whole railway system will require higher degrees of automation for its seamless integration in such ecosystem, to be done in a standardised way and also meeting interoperability requirements. This also implicitly means that legacy systems (i.e. comprehensive network until 2050, segregated, suburban and local networks) will have to support automation to unblock a pan-European deployment of ATO and a seamless automatic/autonomous operation along Europe, also interfacing other autonomous transport modes. Doubtless, automation and autonomy of rail assets directly and significantly contribute to at least two of the European Commission’s priorities for the period 2019-2024: The European Green Deal (fighting climate change) and the Europe fit for the digital age (digital technologies including artificial intelligence). Achieving this vision of such grade of automation in railways is not straightforward and will require additional R&I efforts. In this sense ERRAC has identified several challenges to be overcome in the period 2020 to 2030 in the field of automation (ERRAC’s Rail 2030 – Research and innovation priorities1):
  • Reliable and accurate train positioning, supported by appropriate sensors to achieve the required safety levels;
  • Advanced TCMS with enhanced safety features fulfilling additional automation requirements;
  • A reliable and robust internal and external environment perception of the vehicle as well as the external surrounding and an effective telecommunication system able to manage connection, resp. data sharing, between infrastructure and vehicles, and between vehicles, to enable on-board decision-making intelligence;
  • Infrastructure and environment monitoring through sensors and artificial intelligence, and;
  • Self-healing/management of vehicles, intelligent closed-circuit television (CCTV), smart subsystems in general, ready for remote control and supervision.

In addition, the STRIA Roadmap on Connected and Automated Transport defines a number of actions to be undertaken by the rail community in the next years in the area of rail automation, among other, to develop:
  • Reliable environment perception to identify all external hazards and to detect trackside signals enabling onboard decision-making intelligence;
  • Reliable train positioning;
  • Enhanced Train Control and Monitoring System (TCMS), or;
  • Reliable external and internal environment perception (outside ATO).

The challenges brought by STRIA and ERRAC call for additional set of R&I activities to seamlessly bridge the S2R JU MAAP and the future Horizon Europe R&I Programme. In order to provide solutions for the future of automated and autonomous systems for railways TAURO has an overarching and ambitious goal:

The high-level objective of TAURO is to identify, analyse and finally propose suitable founding technologies for the future European automated and autonomous rail transport, to be further developed, certified and deployed through the activities planned for the European Partnership for Transforming Europe’s Rail System.

To achieve this, the partners have broken the work down into four technical WPs, following the scope of the call, that each deal with separate system elements, with each contributing to the overall goal of the project. These four areas of work are:
  • Environment perception for automation
  • Remote driving and command
  • Automatic status monitoring and diagnostic for autonomous trains
  • Technologies supporting migration to ATO over ETCS

Project Structure

WP1 - Environment Perception for Automation

Similar to the automotive sector, environment perception is going to be the enabling building block for automated and autonomous railways. Both indoor and outdoor environment sensing will be required, implementing different functions with different objectives. Outdoor environment sensing plays its main role in ensuring the clearance to drive (no obstacles, signal status on green, etc.), speed supervision (speed limits signals) or vehicle localisation, while indoor environment sensing will mostly be required in GoA4, where the automation of event detection, linked with a faster reaction time will improve operational safety, on-board security and overall service quality (maintenance) This work package looks at both eco systems.

With respect to outdoor environment sensing, it digs into some initial activities which are required to adopt environment perception in railways and its main objectives are:

  • To propose a novel certification concept when the artificial sense is used for safety related functions;
  • To define a common database for artificial sense training and to create one alpha instance of it;
  • To analyse how visual landmarks and radar signatures could be used for enhancing the train location function, and;
  • To perform feasibility studies for a number of use cases where the artificial sense plays a role;
  • Related to the indoor environment sensing system, the main objectives are:
  • Collect and prioritize the requirements for Indoor Environment Perception Oriented Services, which may not only cover security aspects but for instance also operation, customer service oriented and/or maintenance services.
  • Define the system architecture, perform feasibility studies and develop a demonstrator.
  • Assess the performance of the system.

WP2 - Remote driving and command

The main objective of this WP is to develop the comprehensive specification and functional architecture of the remote driving and command, aiming on SCIs. The proposed solution must be applicable to different segments (from tramways to freight locomotives) and for different applications like degraded operation under ATO GoA4, yard shunting or depot movements, regardless of the underlying signalling system. In that sense, coherence with the activities performed within X2Rail-4 WP3 must me assured by consultation. The integration of the function blocks with their SCIs will be performed in close collaboration with X2Rail-4 WP 3 ensuring coherence with LinX4Rail WP 5.

Hence, an additional final result of the WP will be an input, among others, for the IEC/EN 61375-2-6 standard by proposing a new application profile (use case) for the remote driving and command.
The WP will also enable remote operations which otherwise onboard staff could perform, like isolating bogies, locking doors or rearming fuses, in order to facilitate the operation even in degraded modes.

WP3 - Automatic status monitoring and diagnostic for autonomous trains

In the scope of the TAURO project, following developments of an Enhanced Train Control and Monitoring System
(TCMS) for an autonomous train shall be address to
  • Enhanced safety features for automatic diagnostic
  • Complementary functions to the ATO and TCMS towards achieving full autonomy (GoA4)
  • Analyse how to integrate and correlate the train on board diagnostic with equivalent ‘digital twin’ functions to improve CBM.

According to these mainstreams, in the first part of this WP the focus shall be identified the rationale and justification of currently functional diagnostic, performed by the system train, in principle main-line and regional, at the starting mission: diagnostic process of the function that could be automated. Preliminary characterization of a specific number of diagnostic monitoring process and elaboration of a list of requirements to be exported from the train sub-systems. In the second part of the WP, the study shall define new diagnostic requirements for both TCMS than train subsystem relevant to autonomous trains. These requirements should relate to auto-recovery and auto-heal (or degraded operational mode) functionalities, necessary to maximise the running capability of an autonomous train (up to GoA4).

WP4 - Technologies supporting migration to ATO over ETCS

The purpose of this activity is:
  • To upgrade the GoA3/4 specifications considering the use of ATO on non ETCS area.
  • To deliver GoA3/4 specifications based on a semi-formal model (Specification based on a model are more maintainable). In addition, the use of a model will permit to validate GoA3/4 concepts by simulations in an early stage
  • To validate the interaction between ATO (up to GoA4) and the Traffic Management System. Indeed,
  • GoA3/4 specifications consider several assumptions on TMS behaviour which could lead to instabilities in the operation

WP5 - Dissemination and Exploitation

This WP seeks to ensure proper dissemination and promotion of the project results, in a way which is consistent with the wider dissemination and promotion activities of Shift2Rail. It will ensure that the outputs of the project are delivered in a form which makes them immediately available for use by further activities within the current and following initiative.
It will also ensure that all important actors in the European railway sector are informed about the results. In that sense, an additional and crucial objective is to facilitate acceptance of the project outcomes through the standards and regulatory bodies, as well as by the main actors of the European railway sector.

WP6 - Project Management

From the project management perspective, the objectives of this work package are:
  • To ensure efficient coordination of the project together with the Steering Committee;
  • To coordinate the technical work of the various WPs in order to keep the alignment with the overall objectives of the project and with Shift2Rail activities;
  • To contribute to any relevant decision at WP level that may compromise or affect the achievement of the overall objectives of the project;
  • To ensure efficient management of common consortium activities, including risk management;
  • To ensure efficient overall administrative and financial management of the project, and;
  • To ensure the running of a quality assurance process




Results and Publications

At the moment there are no publications available.

Projects News & Events

Kick-off Meeting

The kick-off meeting of TAURO took place on 13th January2021 launching the various activities which will last until May 2013. Due to thecurrent COVID restriction the meeting was held online with a significant numberof participants.

TAURO’s members acknowledge the challenging high-level objectiveof the project: To identify, analyse and finally propose suitable foundingtechnologies for the future European automated and autonomous rail transport,to be further developed, certified and deployed through the activities plannedfor the Shift2Rail’s successor Europe’s Rail.


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Kick-off Meeting

The kick-off meeting of TAURO took place on 13th January2021 launching the various activities which will last until May 2013. Due to thecurrent COVID restriction the meeting was held online with a significant numberof participants.

TAURO’s members acknowledge the challenging high-level objectiveof the project: To identify, analyse and finally propose suitable foundingtechnologies for the future European automated and autonomous rail transport,to be further developed, certified and deployed through the activities plannedfor the Shift2Rail’s successor Europe’s Rail.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No: 101014984