World’s first driverless rail transit system unveiled in China

Written by Ali Leghari ·  1 min read >

CRRC, a railcar manufacturer based in China has unveiled the first Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) system in the world. The new rapid transit system is a combination of a bus and a train and it is highly anticipated to speed up public transportation in Zhuzhou in the Hunan province of China.

The ART uses a different approach to the transportation idea in many ways. First of all, rather than using steel wheels, it uses rubber wheels. It also has a plastic core which makes it lighter and hence agiler. The use of rubber wheels instead of steels wheels gives the ART many advantages over both trains and buses. They do not need to rely on the availability of rail tracks to operate in a given area. Also, they do not damage the roads.

Also, each ART can carry up to 370 people at once, it will offer far more capacity than any single bus can offer. Not just that, but the ART will be the first public transportation means that can guide itself. That means it does not need a driver to move around the various routes.

This new form of public transportation also comes with the advantage of costing far less than other means of transport being used at the moment. The common subway, for example, costs anything between 400-700 million RMB per kilometer. Electric cars cost about 150-200 million RMB per kilometer. The ART is an electric car which makes it far cheaper than the subway.

While the ART has just been unveiled, its designs date go as far back as the year 2013. Its carrying capacity is 48 tons or 307 people and has a length of 31 meters and the top speed of 70 kilometers per hour. A 10-minute charge can see the train travel for 25 kilometers which are very impressive.

The very first ART line in the world will be launched in Zhuzhou where it will be covering 6.5 kilometers.