The world’s first track-less train has just been unveiled in Zhouzhou, in the Hunan province of China. Thought it doesn’t start operating until 2018, the test-run, which began on June 2, is already causing a stir world-wide.
The electric train, called Autonomous Rail Transit (ART), runs purely on electricity on virtual tracks. There are no physical tracks – a new technology developed by Chinese railcar-makers CRRC comes with various built-in sensors that can identify obstacles like pavements or dividers and clear a path through them.
Since it runs on electricity, this revolutionary mode of public transport is non-polluting and can travel for 25 kilometres after just 10 minutes of charging. The train just a little over 100 feet long and can carry a load of about 300 passengers. The train goes up to a speed of 70 kilometres per hour – and definitely eases the strain on public transport and heavy traffic in smaller cities that can’t host a proper railway system.