Beijing's first domestically developed, fully automated subway. Image: xinhuanet.com
The red rectangle shows the location of Yanfang line. Image: sankyo-seiki.com
Beijing has announced plans to unveil the country’s first domestically developed, fully automated subway next year, in tandem with the scheduled opening of the Yanfang line.
The new line will connect the southeastern suburb of Yanshan, which houses a number of petroleum and chemical enterprises, with Fangshan, where passengers can transfer to trains bound for the center of Beijing.
The operating system for the new line, which requires neither drivers nor attendants, is currently undergoing factory testing, and is expected to launch by the end of 2017.
The benefits of a fully automated subway system include greater safety, better efficiency and a reduced workload for operators. Such systems are therefore growing in popularity worldwide.
China began research for the automated subway system in 2010, in accordance with the Made-in-China 2025 strategy, a 10-year national plan for intelligent manufacturing. The introduction of the technology signifies that China has reached an advanced international level in the field of urban railway systems.
Apart from the Yanfang line, at least five other lines, including Subway Lines 3, 12, 17, 19 and new airport express will use the automated system.