China's first driverless subway line may start operations in end-2017

BEIJING • China's first driverless subway line, the Yanfang Line in south-west Beijing, is expected to start operations at the end of next year, the People's Daily reported yesterday.

Operations on the line will be fully automatic, including train departure, door opening and closing, and cleaning, said the report. The trains will use only domestic technology.

China started developing its own fully automatic subway system in 2010 and has mastered the core technologies, said the report.

Beijing subway lines 3, 12, 17, 19 and the new airport line are all under planning and will also operate with completely automated and driverless trains.

It is expected that the total length of fully automated subway lines in Beijing will reach 300km by 2020, said the report.

The development and use of domestic operation systems is part of the "Made in China 2025" initiative, which aims to comprehensively upgrade Chinese industry.

The move will also help strengthen China's presence in the global rail transport industry and ensure the security of the country's key infrastructure facilities.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2016, with the headline 'China's first driverless subway line may start operations in end-2017'. Subscribe