German rail operator Deutsche Bahn and industrial conglomerate Siemens on Monday unveiled the world’s first automated, driverless train in the city of Hamburg, calling it more punctual and energy efficient than conventional trains.
Four such trains will join the northern city’s S-Bahn rapid urban rail network and start carrying passengers from December using the existing rail infrastructure.
Other cities such as Paris are driverless metropolises while airports often run automated monorail trains, but they run on special single tracks while Hamburg trains will share tracks with other regular trains.
The project, which Siemens and Deutsche Bahn called a “world first”, is part of a 60 million euro ($70 million) modernization of Hamburg’s rapid urban rail system.
Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz said automated trains provide “a more reliable” service “without having to lay a kilometer of new track”.
“We are making rail transport more intelligent,” said Siemens CEO Roland Busch, estimating that automated trains “could transport 30 percent more passengers, significantly improve punctuality and 30 percent more.” can save more energy than
The companies said in a statement, although the train is controlled through digital technology and is fully automated, a driver will still be present to supervise the journey.
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