China is another world in itself. The country has introduced it’s latest ‘ART’ train design which mixes bus, tram, and train all in one. However, there is something different about this train.
It does not run on metal rails, instead, it follows dotted lines painted on the road.
ART stands for Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit. CRRC , the maker of this train is calling it a “smart bus”. The new driver-less bus-cum-train is 30-meter long, fully electric and travels over 40 km on a full charge. The train runs on the white lines combined with sensors, while it adapts to its surroundings and unexpected situations in real time.
The first model can carry almost 300 passengers across three carriages (with up to 500 in future configurations). The train runs on rubber tires instead of metal rails.
The design is aimed at communities that can’t afford the immensely expensive subway or tram projects. For example, it costs up to Rs. 656 crore to build a kilometer of a subway track, as compared to about Rs .12 crore for a standard length ART bus, according to a report by Chinese state media, Xinhua.
A 4 mile (6.5 km) ART line will be built in the Chinese city of Zhuzhou, with operations starting in 2018.