Culver City, Calif.-based Parallel Systems is testing autonomous battery-electric railcars for short-haul freight operations, and has raised $49.55 million in Series A funds to help build a fleet, continue testing and grow the company, it reported on Jan. 19.
Many countries already have electrified railway using overhead electrical wires. The U.S. is almost entirely diesel-electric locomotives, which use diesel engines to power electric motors on the locomotive.
Costs for installing electrical lines across very lengthy rail lines in much of the U.S. is likely immense. But that is what may eventually happen for long distance rail services.