The First Driverless Bullet Train In Operation Is Chinese

A new driverless bullet train connecting the Chinese cities of Beijing and Zhangjiakou is capable of reaching a top speed of up to 217mph (350km/h), making it the world’s fastest autonomous train in operation.

The new service, launched in the build-up to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic games, will reduce travel time between the capital and Zhangjiakou, which will stage most of the skiing events, from three hours to less than one. Some trains will complete the 108-mile route in 45 minutes. The original Beijing-Zhangjiakou line opened in 1909, when the same journey took around eight hours. The trains will start and stop at stations automatically to a precise timetable, and change speed depending on limits between stations. However, a monitoring attendant will still be on board in case of emergencies.

The line, also known as the Jingzhang intercity railway, took four years to complete and has 10 stations, including Badaling Changcheng, for access to the Great Wall of China. The first train began operating on 30 December, running from Beijing to Taizicheng, which will also hold some Olympic skiing events and is the closet station to the Olympic village.

Cabins on the “smartautonomous trains have large storage areas for winter sports equipment, seats with 5G touchscreen control panels, intelligent lighting, thousands of real-time safety sensors and removable seats for passengers in wheelchairs. Facial-recognition technology and robots will be used in stations to assist with directions, luggage and paperless check-in.


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