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This train doesn't need a railway track, or a driver
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Is it a train? Is it a bus? Well, it’s kind of both. Developed by Chinese rail transit firm CRRC, the smart bus or Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) can be thought of as a train/tram that is able to move on regular roads without a rail system. But it is similar to a train or tram in its modular construction as carriages can be added or removed.

Instead of rails the ART follows a pre-set white-dotted pathway along the road which it reads with sensors. The ART is also autonomous and doesn’t require a driver. This gives the ART the advantage of being cheap and easy to implement, compared with other rail systems, making it an affordable public transport option for small to medium sized cities.

Here is what we know about the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit so far;

  • It is 32 metres long and 3.4 metres high
  • Has a capacity of 307 passengers
  • Can reach a top speed of 70kph
  • Its lithium titanate battery allows for a 25km journey after just 10 minutes of charging

"It is like having a virtual rail for the bus," said Feng Jianghua, chief engineer of CRRC. The ART is also an environmentally friendly transportation option as it is battery powered.

The Chinese city of Zhuzhou will be the first to trial the ART in the real world in 2018 with a 6.5km line. If successful the ART could become a great public transport option in cities and towns with tight budgets or where a rail infrastructure is simply not an option.

For more information check out the video.


Last modified on Monday, 24 July 2017 14:21

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