A city in China has taken a big leap into the future as it launched what is being dubbed as world’s first ‘smart train’ that runs on virtual tracks.
Unveiled in June, the futuristic train system began its test run on the busy streets of Zhuzhou in China’s Hunan province last week.
The rail system called Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) can carry up to 300 passengers in its three carriages and has a top speed of 70 kilometres per hour. According to People’s Daily, its flexible design makes it ideal to navigate through city traffic. With just 10 minutes of charge, the train can operate for up to 25 kilometres.
A hybrid that “combines the advantages of modern trams and buses”, it runs on virtual tracks marked by white dotted lines painted on the city streets, reported Channel News Asia.
The train system is much cheaper to build compared to a full-fledged urban train or tram system which needs tracks, Daily Mail quotes the chief engineer of the train as saying.
The electric train is currently only operating on a small 3.1-kilometre-long stretch with just four stations. The ‘smart train’ will go into regular service from next year and is expected to be automated.