China’s first autonomous intra-city train has arrived at Beijing Daxing International Airport, where it will undergo a series of tests before going into operation. The train is expected to be ready in September this year when the airport starts running.
The train meets the world’s highest level of fully autonomous driving standards as the whole process, from wakeup to startup, acceleration, deceleration, stopping, door opening, door closing, to the final step of returning to the depot, is fully automated.
The 41 km railway line between Beijing’s Lize Financial Business District and the south terminal of the airport will also be the first intra-city line in China to allow the highest speed of 160km/h under the entirely autonomous driving mode, twice the speed of ordinary subway trains. Thus a one-way trip on this line will only take 19 minutes.
In the United Kingdom, a self-driving train started to take passengers across London in March last year. Govia Thameslink Railway, which services the London Thameslink route, promised that a driver would remain responsible for safety on board and could take control of the train at any time. The autonomous mode is supposed to increase driving efficiency and allow more trains on the tracks.
However, currently, there is no further information on whether there’ll be a driver on the Beijing autonomous driving line.