A driverless subway train is rolled off the production line in east China's Shandong province on February 26, 2016. Image: ifeng
A driverless subway train rolled off the production line in east China's Shandong Province on Feb. 26. The train will be used in Beijing subway system this year, after trial operations.
Developed by state-owned high-speed train maker CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co. Ltd, the new train is completely automatic. It can be started, operated and parked with a signal from the subway control center, according to Xinhua Finance Agency.
Jiang Xin, a head technician from the company. claims that the train will "run more safely and effectively compared to trains controlled by humans."
According to Jiang, the trains can not only reduce operational failures caused by human error, but also help avoid accidents caused by driver fatigue or sudden illness of staff.
Interior of the train: ifeng
Advanced detection technology will enable the train to identify and react to obstructions ahead. The company also claims that in the rare case of derailment, the train will automatically stop.
Qingdao’s latest subway invention is nothing revolutionary. As early as August 2011, Hong Kong announced its first contract to supply driverless trains to the MTR’s West and South Island lines. The three-car, automatic trains – which cost about 20 percent more to produce than the existing trains – are expected to be operational by the end of 2016.
"Core technology for making the train is home-grown, which is a huge breakthrough in the domestic subway industry," Jiang said.
The autonomous driving train has four cars, with a maximum speed of 100 km per hour. It can be switched into manual mode when necessary.