Automatic Train Operation (ATO) is an ongoing project, part of the Strategic Program for Railways research, carried out in collaboration with Rete Ferroviaria Italiana.

The project started in 2018, it is conducted in accordance with the European projects Shift2Rail and Europe Rail, and aiming at controlling an experimental railway vehicle capable of travelling on the railway line at high speed in full autonomy [1]. The vehicle can also be driven remotely, under the supervision of the ERTMS/ETCS systems for high-speed lines. The ultimate long-term goals of the project are the reduction of time and costs of maintenance of the railway lines, the innovation of the maintenance process by increasing the effectiveness of preventive actions, and the availability of ATO systems for commercial trains, with resulting reduction in energy consumption, higher perceived comfort, and shorter travel times.
FBK contributes to the project with the use of model-based rigorous technologies for the design phase, including formalization of requirements and scenarios, verification and validation of the architecture and logics of the SW, automatic code generation, extensive anticipatory testing, HW-in-the-loop testing (either in laboratory or on the field). FBK also contributes with the development, testing and integration of ERTMS/ETCS application modules.

[1] Arturo Amendola, Lorenzo Barruffo, Marco Bozzano, Alessandro Cimatti, Salvatore De Simone, Eugenio Fedeli et al. Formal Design and Validation of an Automatic Train Operation Control System. In Reliability, Safety, and Security of Railway Systems. Modelling, Analysis, Verification, and Certification 4th International Conference, RSSRail 2022, Paris, France, June 1–2, 2022.


The ATO team spans two different Units: ES and SE.

The ES team is composed of:

  • Gianni Zampedri (Technologist and Task Leader of the task “V&V dell’Architettura e delle Logiche di Controllo del Software ATO-OB e ATO-TS”).
  • Massimiliano Girardi (SW developer)
  • Daniele Giuliani (SW developer)

General Info:

Start Date: 5 Sep 2018
End Date: 29 Aug 2024
Funding: 1.600.000 EU


Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI)


Marco Bozzano