China Will Have Driverless Trains Running in Beijing This Year

The first driverless trains proudly made in China are scheduled to run on Beijing’s Yanfang Line later this year, authorities announced on Friday.

The 16.6-kilometer (10.3-mile) line is expected to ease the transportation of residents in the city’s southwestern suburb of Fangshan, a spokesperson at the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said.

According to Xinhua, construction on two new rail lines is also pegged for completion this year, making it Beijing’s first modern tram line and first medium-low speed maglev line.

While made in Qingdao by CRRC Qingdao Sifang, the driverless trains were first introduced in Hong Kong late last year, according to Shanghaiist.

In terms of safety, head technician Jiang Xin assured that the trains “can actually run more safely and effectively compared to trains controlled by humans.”

“These trains can not only help reduce operational failures caused by human error but also help avoid accidents caused by factors such as driver fatigue or sudden illness of staff,” Xin added.

At present, Beijing boasts 19 train lines covering 574 kilometers in transport. Another 350 kilometers will be covered by 20 more lines this year, Xinhua noted.

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