It took only two years for Chinese engineersgo from the first application to the first commercial flight to create a fundamentally new urban transport that can replace the tram. In the city of Yibin, Sichuan, an unusual trackless virtual tram transported the first passengers on a 17.7 km long test section.
The main advantage of futuristicurban transport has become the lack of need for rails. Using LIDAR and GPS sensors, trains will be guided along the streets according to specially marked markings. The Yibin ART T1 train is capable of speeds up to 112 kilometers per hour and carry up to 300 passengers at a time.
The rail system, called ART (Autonomous Rail Transport), was developed by the Chinese company CRRC Corporation Limited, one of the world's largest train manufacturers.
The width of the virtual railway is3.75 meters and it is indicated by dashed lines drawn on the road. The economic benefits of the project are also interesting. The construction of one kilometer of tram tracks in China will cost 150-200 million yuan (1.3 to 1.8 billion rubles), but using a high-tech virtual line, the cost will be reduced to 50-100 million yuan (450-900 million rubles) per same distance.
Train movement on virtual rails maybe carried out offline, however, the driver is currently part of, the main task of which is to control the automatic train control system.