ELS – Energy Optimization for Subways

In the context of the project ELS, a system was developed which enables energy savings for the operation of regional rail transport systems. The goal of this project was the economic and ecological improvement of schedule-related operations by reducing traction-related energy needs in compliance with schedule prerequisites, as well as the warranty of defined terminal connections.

Additionally, restart strategies after disturbances during normal operation were optimized. The new technology will allow energy-optimized braking, accelerating and starting procedures wihile adhering to the schedule. To achieve this, all information related to the energy requirements of vehicles is collected automatically and converted into real-time driving recommendations, taking into account additional information available within the vehicle and the control room about the traffic situation at large, as well.

During the system development, HFC worked on the specification of standard operating functions and the design of the HMI (Human Machine Interface) for both the central system components in the control center (EcoC), which offers assistance to the dispatcher during incident management, and for the mobile components in the vehicles (EcoM), which can support the driver, particularly in the implementation of an energy-saving driving style.



  • Task Analysis & Requirements Definition
  • Questionnaires
  • Scenariobased Development
  • User Interfaces, Story Boards and GUI-Design
  • Usability-Testing
  • Train Simulator
  • Eye-Tracking Analysis
  • Statistics



  • ASCI Systemhaus GmbH
  • BLIC GmbH
  • Fraunhofer – Institut für Rechnerarchitektur und Softwaretechnik FIRST
  • HFC Human-Factors-Consult GmbH
  • IFB – Institut für Bahntechnik GmbH
  • TU Berlin, FG Datenbanksysteme und Informationsmanagement (Database Systems and Information Management)
  • TU Berlin, FG Schienenfahrwege und Bahnbetrieb (Track and Railway Operations)