To achieve a sustainable modal shift from road to railways, the development of interoperable rail vehicle concepts is essential, as envisaged in the Vision 2020 of the ERRAC, demanding smooth cross-operation between different transport routes and networks supported by advanced technologies.
The project European Driver's Desk (EUDD), which was funded in FP5 by the European Commission, initiated the first development of European-wide applicable driver's desk. The functionality was tested with several drivers in a simulation environment. To continue these efforts one step closer to a unified European driver's desk to make efficient cross-border operations possible the project European Driver's Desk Plus (EUDDplus) was devised.
The project EUDDPLUS aimed at the development, in-field testing and validation of the interoperable, harmonised and modularised train driver's desk. More specific, EUDDPLUS project aimed at the reduction of the life cycle costs (LCC) of the system driver's desk of about 15 % compared to today's reference cases. Moreover, the project aimed to justify the ergonomic advantages of the new desk configuration by scientific analysis and to prove the technical and operational feasibility of the desk layout and therefore the practical implementation of the operational requirements specification (ORS) 612 resulting from the MODTRAIN project.
The general objectives of the project EUDDPLUS were the following:
- to achieve a reduction of the LCC of the system driver's desk of at least 15 % compared to the reference case (given by the test locomotive with conventional desk). The LCC calculations shall consider all elements of the product's lifetime, which are: to justify the ergonomic advantages of the EUDD desk layout during in-field tests;
- to prove the technical and operational feasibility of the EUDD concept and MODTRAIN ORS 612 implementation;
- to facilitate the future series homologation procedure of the EUDDPLUS desk layout for all European networks by involving the European Rail Agency (ERA) and the national authorities for the entire project duration via a user platform.
At an early stage of the project the precision and the specification of the desk concept were performed according to the available drafts of the ORS 612 from the MODTRAIN project. The further work plan consisted of the following major steps:
- Specification compliant to ORS/FRS/SyRS/FIS, development and vehicle integration of the new desk including software development.
- In-field tests on the Wildenrath railway test ring by re-enacting cross-border operation involving drivers from several European operators to test the advantages of the driver's desk (usability testing).
- Draft of recommendations for future broad scale exploitation and future certification.
After the in-field tests took place the test results gathered by questionnaires, by an eye tracking system and by operational data recorded has been scientifically evaluated by the ergonomics' point of view.
The project was structured into eight work packages (WPs), as follows:
WP 1: Project management
WP 1 was dedicated to performing project management tasks. It comprised the technical as well as the administrative coordination.
WP 2: EUDDPLUS user platform
Train operating companies (TOCs) outside the project consortium (namely SBB, SNCF) were involved in the final discussions about the EUDDPLUS concept precision and specifications as well as during the preparation of the in-field tests. UNIFE involved the system, subsystem and component suppliers via different UNIFE groups: the technical plenary and the topical group CAB. Several presentations were given to inform the members of these groups with the current status of the project. As several project partners are members of CEN WG 37, this group was also informed continuously about the project's progress.
WP 3: Homologation support
In WP 3 the preparatory work for the in-field test certification started right after the kick-off. The following tasks had been fulfilled within WP 3:
- Proof that the EUDDPLUS specifications meet the essential requirements defined in the Interoperability Directive 2008/57/EC and specified in the conventional rail technical specification for interoperability locomotive and passenger rolling stock (CR TSI Loc&Pas RST).
- Integration of the EUDDPLUS specifications in a spreadsheet which contains a detailed list of parameters and their link to the requirements of certification authorities and network operators of several European count
Generally, the analysis has shown that the tested EUDDPLUS driver's desk is in conformity to a huge part of the CR TSI Loc&Pas RST. It has been demonstrated that the EUDDPLUS driver's desk and thus, major parts of the UIC 612 are in conformity to this TSI (all the items of the EUDDPLUS driver's desk that have been assessed against the CR TSI Loc&Pas RST are in conformity to UIC 612). It has been shown that UIC 612 is - at least for all the parts realised and tested in EUDDPLUS - a sound basis to ensure that the essential requirements are met by a driver's desk and therefore appropriate to enhance interoperability.
The EUDDPLUS results will actively be used in the following standardisation activities on European level:
- technical recommendation of the driver-machine-interface as an agreed paper between UIC and UNIFE, based on the UIC 612, EUCAB and EUDDPLUS results, which contributes to the CEN WG37 activities and to the implementation of the EUDDPLUS desk prototype.
- prEN CAB with a part based on the results of the EUDDPLUS project in close interaction with CEN TC256.