European Commission

European Commission

1. Information about the procurement

ICT Solution: Autonomous trains and automated freight operation

The Spanish railway company RENFE is convinced that the Railway Highway is the best formula to boost rail-road collaborative logistics and the fight against climate change, in line with European politics, so it has decided to implement a new and efficient loading, transport and unloading system of semi-trailers, on a wagon-platform, which does not require adaptation of the linear infrastructure, nor the construction of specific expensive goods terminals.

The aim of the project is to increase the participation of the railroad in the transport and logistics of goods, through the implementation of the new wagon loading-transport and unloading system for the modality of railway highways, which will allow to make the logistics chains more sustainable on the basis, among others aspects, cost savings and greater rail energy efficiency.

Its target is to achieve that the highway semi-trailer could be transported, in a very efficient way, by train, and to an ideal final cost based on:

  • Minimal cost of construction of the wagon.
  • Minimal cost of conditioning of the railway station of load.
  • Minimal cost of machinery and labour to realize the operations of load and discharge.

This initiative is part of the Innovation Plan for Transport and Infrastructure of the Ministry of Public Works of Spain 2018-2020. The Innovation Plan for Transport and Infrastructures 2018-2020, framed within the Europe 2020 Strategy and the 2017-2020 State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research, aims at coordinating and integrating the innovation activities of the companies and institutions of the Fomento Group. The plan also seeks to promote open innovation, reinforcing collaboration with universities and the private sector.

Key technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence and robotics
  • The project concerns the real time management of the operation, along with new concepts such as virtual coupling and platooning, that will support the increase of flexibility in operations. Autonomous trains and automated freight operation will bring additional predictability and versatility. All these elements together will support an increase of the capacity and resiliency of the system without major infrastructure investments


Type of innovation procurement:
Pre-Commercial Procurement – PCP  

Timeframe:  The foreseen date to publish the contract notice is Mid 2019.

Budget invested by the procurer: € 1.500.000,-

More information:
Innovation Plan for Transport and Infrastructures 2018-2020

2. Type of assistance provided by eafip  

To the specific tender:

Assistance in the preparation of a market consultation, the procurement strategy and  tender documents.

To the general procurement of the organisation:
Best practices for innovation procurement.

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