Clear path for safe rail traffic through Europe
Release from Thu., September 18, 2014
From Berlin to Budapest, from Prague to Paris – to travel safely, eco-nomically and inexpensively by train through Europe, uniform signal and train control solutions are needed. As a consequence of history, these still vary from country to country today. The „European Train Control System“ (ETCS) is intended to establish greater consistency. A total of 44 European partners are working to implement this in the trains in a cost-effective, reliable and above all open-source manner as „openETCS”. Fraunhofer FOKUS is going to display methods to verify the system as safe at Innotrans 2014 from September 23 to 26.
The aim of Dr. Klaus-Rüdiger Hase, openETCS Project Manager at DB, is "to equip all new trains, as far as possible, with the open software in the future.As of 2017, vehicles will be traveling for which the ETCS function software has been licensed pursuant to the European Union Public License (EUPL).
The EUPL published by the EU Commission takes into account issues of EU product liability law as well as copyright in Europe. As a result, we expect more competition, more cost-effective support for and long-term use of the software, as well as faster innovation cycles."
Safe and Simple Certification
Since ETCS is a safety-critical system, it must be thoroughly certified. Researchers of the Competence Center SQC (System Quality Center) at Fraunhofer FOKUS are working to formally document the implementation of openETCS.
In the process, they will turn to Frama C, a software analysis tool made by the French partner institute CEA LIST, as their primary resource. This way, the source code can be mathematically verified which guarantees a very high degree of reliability. Moreover, if the software is developed further, not all components of the new version will have to be verified again. This reduces the cost and complexity for the update.
According to Jens Gerlach, Project Manager at Fraunhofer FOKUS, the biggest challenge is "to formally specify the informal ETCS requirements in railway operations as far as the software is concerned." This project will run until the end of 2015. At InnoTrans in Berlin (Hall 23B, Stand 206), the scientists will be presenting their current results and the possibilities of certification.