Shanghai begins driverless trains trial run on metro line

City is the third in China to introduce the unmanned system

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 3:47pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 3:47pm

Shanghai has begun a trial run of driverless trains on its first automated metro line, becoming the third Chinese city to introduce the unmanned system to its tracks.

The automatic trains went into service on the Pujiang Line on Saturday, increasing the city’s total metro network from 666km to 672km, according to Shanghai Metro’s official website.

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There are six stations along the 6.7km line, with four-carriage elevated trains running between Shendu Highway and Huizhen Road.

It uses an automated people mover (APM) system, which has also been rolled out in Beijing and the southern city of Guangzhou, as well as other places across the globe.

The technology allows passengers to look out of windows at the front and rear of the trains, as they are controlled remotely. They have a smart energy management system and rubber tyres to minimise noise, the metro operator said.

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The unmanned trains also have a smaller radius for turning, giving them greater flexibility, but that makes the journey a shakier experience for passengers, Yu Miao, operations director for the Pujiang Line, told Shanghai Daily.

Another employee told the newspaper there were six staff members working at each APM station at present, but the operator hopes to reduce that to one or two.

“The real challenge will come on Monday, the first working day,” they were quoted as saying.

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The Pujiang Line is operated by Shanghai Keolis, a joint venture between Shanghai Shentong Metro Group and Keolis, a French transport group.