The Shanghai Metro is continually innovating the way in which we travel, and while recently this has been centered around QR codes and face scanning technology, driverless trains are now on the horizon. According to a report by Kankanews, the city’s first driverless metro line, the Pujiang Line, will commence public trial runs this Saturday March 31.
At first sight, you may find the name for Pujiang Line’s a little different, since it’s named after a region rather than a number, which is inconsistent with previous Shanghai Metro lines. Initially, Pujiang Line was planned as Phase 3 of Line 8, however, that changed and it became its own independent line. Now, the only connection between the two lines is the interchange at Shendu Highway.
Pujiang Line, as the name indicates, runs through Pujiang Town of Minhang District. It starts from Shendu Highway (the current termination of Line 8) and ends at Huizhen Lu. The color of Pujiang Line is gray (which makes sense, since most of the bright colors in the spectrum have already been taken).
Image via Wikipedia
The line covers a distance of 6.69 kilometers (4.16 miles), with five newly-added stations, making it the shortest Metro line among the 16 operating lines in Shanghai. In addition, with a capacity to transport 568 passengers in four carriages, this is much less than other train carriages within the Shanghai Metro system.
The most distinctive feature of Pujiang Line is the Automatic People Mover (APM) system, which doesn’t require human drivers. The driver’s cab is replaced with large windows, through which passengers can enjoy the passing views. Of course, to ensure smoothness and safety, the working crew will supervise the trains from the control room, and each is equipped with intercoms and emergency alerts.
This automated train was intended to begin testing at the end of 2017, along with Line 17 and Phase 3 of Line 9. However, it was postponed due to the APM technology requiring further maintenance.
Image via The Paper
Another unique feature of the driverless train is the use of a rubber-tire metro system. Compared to those with steel wheels, Pujiang Line can accelerate faster and gain higher speed. The operation of the train is much quieter, too. When commuters take Pujiang Line, they may feel like they are travelling on a bus, more than a train.
Image via The Paper
The first train of Pujiang Line will set out from Huizhen Lu Station at 5.40am and the last train will arrive at the same station at 10.42pm.
By the time Pujiang Line is open to the public, the total length of the world’s longest metro network will reach 673 kilometers. With the South Extension of Line 5 and Phase 2 and 3 of Line 13 also joining in the operation later this year, we will continue to enjoy even more convenience when travelling around this great city.
[Title Image via The Paper]