Hydrogen-powered Shunter Drone
Freight yards, lesser used railway lines and industrial areas often lack overhead wiring and therefore rely on diesel locomotives for transportation. Hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell equipped locomotives could be a greener alternative, especially since shunting and short-range operation would require little infrastructure for local hydrogen generation and storage.
Contemporary shunting locomotives are already often radio-controlled – equipping the locomotives with advanced sensor suites and autonomous functions could further streamline logistics and improve safety during operation.
While the silhouette is reminiscent of a regular european shunting locomotive, the characteristic central frame accentuates the driverless autonomy of the drone while providing a heightened platform for the multisensor suite. The voluminous central engine compartment with its angular outlines represents traction, power and forward drive.
1 – sensor suite with radar, lidar, multispectral cameras and signal horns
2 – folding backup seat for human controller
3 – additional sensors, front-of-train and end-of-train lights
4 – retractable camera boom for train surveillance while stationary
5 – automatic multi-function couplers