The world’s first driverless autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system, equipped with sensors for the measurement of road dimension and also helps to create its particular route, under a test run in the city of Zhuzhou in central China’s Hunan Province. It was revealed in Zhuzhou in Hunan province on June 2, 2017 and is expected to be operational in 2018.
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The product has been described as a combination of a train, bus, and tram. An ART train with three carriages is around 30 meters long and costs about US$ 2.2 million to construct. It can travel at a speed of 70 km/h and provides space for maximum 300 passengers and a five-carriage train can carry an estimated 500 passengers.
Automated rail transit is an environment friendly, rail-less, and driver-less vehicle that is projected to reduce traffic congestion in the highly populated cities. On effective execution of this project, which is presently under development in China, is expected to gain extensive traction in the near future. Due to its low construction cost and a huge carrying capacity, road jamming can be reduced significantly. Additionally, no track is required for its operation, multi-axle steering system, and also functions effectively under extreme climatic conditions.
The ART is equipped with various sensors to reduce manual efforts to assist the driver in following the route on a virtual track or to make indirect route in the case of traffic jams. Lane Departure Warning System helps in guiding the vehicle to keep running on its track and warns whenever it moves away from the lane. Collision Warning System helps the driver to keep a safe distance with other vehicles and it shows a sign to provide a warning when the distance between two vehicles is reduces. The Route Change Authorization has navigation facility equipped with the vehicle can analyze the route on which it is traveling and re-directs for a different route in order to avoid traffic congestion. The Electronic Rearview Mirrors are electrically adjustable and extract a clearer view. Additionally, these are also equipped with auto dimming technology to reduce glare.
Mainly this type is autonomous train is powered by lithium-titanate batteries, though Hydrogen is expected to be a primary source powering trains by 2030 Hydrogen for locomotive power is expected to be driven by nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro-electric resources, as well as other evolving ways of generating hydrogen. Hydrogen is expected to provide ecological and renewable non-carbon energy sources to power rail and transit lines electrically, and would thus reduce energy cost and help lower pollution. Hydrogen fuel cells can find potential application in hybrid rail vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells are expected to replace diesel engines and generators used in current diesel-electric trains, by using energy generated by the fuel cells, which is stored in batteries and is constantly recharged as the engine moves.
Driverless passenger trains, which includes the automated systems, are in operation in Copenhagen, Paris, Singapore, and Dubai. Automated systems enhance the running time of trains and escalate the average speed of the system.
The Dubai Metro is the longest driverless metro network in the world, covering 75 km. The Copenhagen Metro was the first to feature a fully automated system, including depot operation and launching, which operates 24 hours a day.
Sao Paulo’s Metro Line 4 is South America’s only fully automated, driverless subway line. It carries around 700,000 passengers a day on an 8-km stretch.
40 percent of factories in China have been shut down and authorities are reportedly working on a schedule to end new sales of gas and diesel powered cars, along with the prospect of the ART system being carried into implementation.
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