Driverless Subway Headed to Beijing in 2017

By Justine Lopez, July 28, 2016

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Starting in 2017, Beijing’s Yanfang Line will be home to a completely automatic subway, China Daily reports. 

The line extends from the suburban area of Yanshan to Fangshan, a transfer hub that connects passengers with central Beijing. 

The unmanned subway will be fully automatic, meaning there will be no driver or attendant. The train is currently being tested but is expected to make its debut in December 2017.

Driverless subways are becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world. According to the International Association of Public Transport, the number of automated subways has doubled every 10 years during the past four decades.

It is expected that by 2020, 75 percent of the world’s new subway lines will be automatic. 

Fully automated subways offer myriad benefits including increased safety, efficiency and decreased workload for metro employees and operators. 

"It's the new trend in the field of urban railway systems," said Wang Daomin, a deputy manager at the Beijing metro construction administration. "This will signify that China has reached the international level in this field."

Wang added that in addition to the Yanfang Line, four other Beijing lines will also boast driverless subways in the future. 

[Image via Xinhua]

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