Video: China Unveils Hands-Free Trackless Train

June 7, 2017

China's state-owned CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive group has released this video of its new Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit System. The train's locomotive runs on a rechargeable lithium titanate battery, can cover about 25 miles on full single charge, or about miles on a 10-minute charge.

The chain of three railcars is 105-feet long, each car able to carry 100 passengers at speeds averaging 40 miles per hour. The cars do not touch each other  and run on rubber wheels. Sensors like those being developed for autonomous vehicles worldwide control the guidance system.

The new 'train' is targeted for cities or municipalities who would benefit from a light rail network but cannot afford the cost of a traditional lightrail infrastructure buildout, or for established areas where lightrail construction would be unfeasible.

China's first virtual rail line is expected to be operational in 2018 in the city of Zhuzhou. CRRC supplies carriages for lightrail transit systems in Massachusetts, Chicago, and Los Angeles County.

Just in case, a steering wheel is available if a human driver needs to take over in an emergency.