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21 November 2018 Comments (0) Mobility, Other, Technology

Here’s the first self-driving train… without rails!

Another world first for China in the field of smart cities. And this one could well revolutionise urban transportation.

Tested for a year, exactly, the Automated Rail Rapid Transit is 100% electric and can travel 25 kilometres after a recharge of only 10 minutes. It is self-driving and runs freely on the road, like a bus, at a speed of up to 70 km/h. Its uniqueness? It doesn’t need rails to move: it follows dotted lines painted on the road.

In reality, the train is running on rubber tires that run along virtual tracks. Thanks to its sensors, it can detect signals, detect turns, elevations and obstacles, adapt its speed to the state of traffic and respond to instructions sent by the central unit.

The train can carry 307 people in its three cars, but it is also adaptable. That is, they can add two more cars, depending on the traffic, to carry up to 500 passengers.

  • © CRCC
  • © CRCC
  • © CRCC
  • © CRCC
  • © CRCC

Cheaper than a tram

A public transport line without steel rails can be built in a year and put into service shortly after, with costs significantly lower than traditional trams, according to its designers.

By combining the advantages of modern trams and buses, this vehicle offers a new mode of urban travel and should reduce the car pressure in Chinese cities. It is currently being tested in the city of Zhuzhou in central China.

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