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China to develop driverless high-speed trains

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-27 17:09

China is developing driverless high-speed trains which could be used on the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway line, under construction for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, the chief engineer of the country's railway operator said.

The development of the country's high-speed trains is toward smart driverless ones, said He Huawu, chief engineer State-owned China Railway Corp, at a railway exhibition in Shanghai on Thursday.

He said China has developed into a leading player in high-speed railways worldwide, and he has noticed "drivers are very nervous while driving high-speed trains, because of the safety concern."

Therefore, smart driverless high-speed trains have been on the agenda, He said, and the change will make travels much safer and arrive on time more frequently.

People might hold concerns about the safety of the driverless high-speed trains running hundreds of kilometers in much more complex environments than subway trains, which only run tens of kilometers, He said.

One solution is to ensure the train is mainly controlled by a smart machine, but with a driver still on duty, He said.

The next step of the country's high-speed railway development is to employ smart driverless high-speed trains, He said.

Researchers are verifying the possibility of driverless trains on the high-speed railway from Beijing to Zhangjiakou, He said, striving to run such trains during the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

Being more economical, efficient, sustainable, greener and safer are the keys to China's future railway development, He said.

In September, China has made use of subway train driverless technology on the 16.6-km Yanfang Line in Beijing, the Chinese mainland's first driverless subway made domestically.

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