Chinese driverless train with IP rights starts operating in HongKong
Beijing,Dec21:The opening ceremony of Hong Kong’s South Island Line was held at Ocean Park Stationon Dec. 19. Leung Chun-ying, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special AdministrativeRegion, attended the ceremony and delivered a speech. This is the first time a fullyautomated driverless train with independent intellectual property rights has operated inChina, Thepaper.cn reported.
Hong Kong’s South Island Line (East) will officially begin operation on Dec. 28. The lineconsists of 10 three-car trains than run at 80 kilometers per hour. Operation of the linewill be fully automatic, including train departures, door opening and closing, faultdetection and cleaning.
There will be no drivers onboard the trains, though the vehicle control center will stillmonitor and control the trains through a closed circuit television system. Passengers willbe able to see through the glass at the front and back ends of the trains.
The trains themselves, made by China’s CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co., are thefirst GOA4 (Grades of Automation 4) automated driverless trains to operate in China, though China has operated three driverless lines before. The 4-kilometer automatedpassenger conveyor system opened in 2010 in Guangzhou, the Airport Express opened in 2008 in Beijing, and Subway Line 10 currently operates in Shanghai.
However, according to a professional at CRRC, the three previous lines cannot beconsidered driverless subway lines in the strictest sense. The trains still require driversonboard, and the driverless technology is not China’s independent intellectual propertyrights.
China has mastered the core technology of driverless subways after many years of researchand development. The Yanfang Line, currently under construction in southwest Beijing, will utilize completely automated, driverless trains made by CRRC Changchun RailwayVehicles Co. Meanwhile, driverless trains manufactured by CRRC Sifang Co. have beenexported to Singapore.
It is expected that the total length of fully-automated subway lines in Beijing will exceed 200 kilometers by 2020, accounting for more than one-fifth of the total length of subwaylines in the city.