SHANGHAI – China started the test run of the world’s first driverless Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit system in the Chinese city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province in central China, state news agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday.
The three-carriage electric vehicle is 32 meters (105 feet) long and can travel at a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.4 miles per hour), and comes with sensors to gauge road dimensions.
“Operating on virtual tracks through vehicle-mounted sensors, the train can adjust its traction, braking and directions from orders from the central system,” said Feng Jianghua, chief engineer of CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., which developed the system, according to state newspaper Global Times.
The vehicle is a cross between a bus, a train and a tram and has the capacity to ferry 300 passengers.
During its trial run Monday, the train carried passengers along virtual tracks on Zhuzhou’s streets over a distance of 3 kilometers (1.9 miles).
Feng said the system costs just one-fifth of a traditional tram system and will be officially launched around spring 2018.