China debuts world’s first 'smart train'

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BEIJING — A Chinese city is testing what it calls the world’s first “smart train:” a tram that runs on virtual tracks.

The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit train can carry up to 300 people in its three coaches, and can travel up to about 45 mph. The vehicle was first unveiled in June, and this week’s test in Zhuzhou in the Hunan province in south-central China will test its ability to navigate street traffic.

Instead of using rails, the train runs on virtual tracks marked by white dashes on the street and will operate on a two-mile route with four stations. The system "combines the advantages of modern trams and buses," reports Channel News Asia.

It is expected to be much cheaper to operate and maintain that a traditional streetcar or tram.

The ART will begin service in 2018, and will likely be fully automated.

See the original article online.
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