InnoTrans 2022

For the InnoTrans 2022, this page showcases recent activities of the Professorship for Operating Systems and Middleware related to digital rail. The group is led by Prof. Andreas Polze and belongs to the Hasso Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam.

Future railway systems need to be increasingly digitalized, which closely relates to group's research area of design patterns, implementation paradigms, and assessment methodologies for dependable distributed systems. Our expertise reaches from embedded systems and IoT, over operating systems and middlewares, to data center operation and Cloud applications. We actively research and teach in the fields of current and future digital railway systems in cooperation with leading partners from industry, academia, and operation.

Digital Rail Summer School

The Digital Rail Summer School is a teaching, project, fair, and exchange platform to address challenges of digitalizing the railway sector by bringing together students, researchers and practitioners from IT, railway, and authorization sectors.


The FlexiDug project analyzes infrastructures in the Lausitz mining region and develops a concept for future transport opportunities. A digital twin using Building Information Models (BIM) will be created to represent the current railway infrastructures digitally and consistently. Retrofit sensors and self-organizing wireless networks will be developed to monitor vital infrastructure elements. To enable cost-efficient re-use of infrastructures for passenger service interwoven with on-demand cargo traffic, digital dynamic command and control technology, as well as a Dispatcher in the Cloud will be prototyped.


The RailChain project evaluated Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) for vendor-independent, secure digital identities and data recording in railway applications. To fulfill the real-time requirements for on-train juridical recording, domain-specific consensus protocols have been developed. A demonstrator – the Juridical Blockchain Recorder (JBR) – has been installed on the advanced TrainLab.


The DiAK project (Digital St. Andrew's cross / Digitales Andreaskreuz) aims to increase safety and comfort for road users by digitalizing level crossings. With DiAK, road users equipped with Vehicle-to-everything (V2C) and Cellular Vehicle-to-everything (C-V2C) technology are provided with information such as warnings of passing trains at level crossings without barriers, the duration a level crossing will remain closed, or route alternatives.


The Rail2X – Smart Services project explored use cases for Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology in the railway sector. Using the Wi-Fi-like technology (IEEE 802.11p), three examples have been realized: 1) service and diagnosis, for predictive maintenance using data collected by trains; 2) "Anrufschranke", to automatically open and close barriers for which opening and closing must normally be requested by phone; and 3) flag stops, so stopping of the train can be requested electronically instead of visually.


Please find below a list of railway-related projects from our teaching activities:


In the context of the topics around digital rail, the recently founded academic network (railway computer science) is also to be mentioned.

In addition to the topics around digital rail, the Professorship for Operating Systems and Middleware works likewise intensely in a variety of other research areas. Prominent examples are telemedicine, energy-aware computing, heterogeneous computing, resource management, decentralized designs, virtualization, as well as architectures and programming for future server systems.

To learn more about the group's current and past research activities, the research and publications pages are recommended entry points.