The Digital S-Bahn Hamburg agreement to automate operations on a section of the city's suburban rail network was signed by the city's mayor, Deutsche Bahn and Siemens on July 12. The partners have agreed to share the €60M cost of the pilot phase of the project which aims to have four trains operating automatically on a 23km section of Route 21 between Berliner Tor, Bergedorf, and Aumühle by the time the city hosts the World Congress for Intelligent Transport Systems in October 2021. A driver would be retained, but would only intervene in the event of disruption. Trains would also operate unattended for around 1000m when entering and leaving a siding near Bergedorf station. If the pilot phase is successful, the longer-term plan is to automate the entire Hamburg S-Bahn network. DB said the Hamburg deployment would act as pilot for other German cities by using standard European technologies and complying with federal regulations in force on the national rail network, rather than the rules which apply to self-contained metro networks.
Railway Gazette International, Aug. 2018. p.14.