The Hunan city of Zhuzhou is currently testing out an unmanned train that doesn’t run on rails. You know, like a bus.
The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) is being dubbed by Chinese state media the “world’s first smart rapid rail bus,” whatever that means. The train/bus (trus?) was first shown off in June this year. It uses sensors to determine the dimensions of the road and make a virtual track for itself to ride along.
China’s CRRC began developing the ART back in 2013 as yet another way to ease hellish congestion in China’s crowded urban centers. It is being billed as a cheaper alternative to metros or trams, while also being more environmentally-friendly.
The ART officially started its test run on a short track in Zhuzhou on Monday. The city has plans for the completion of a longer, 6.5-kilometer track through downtown next year.
The battery-powered ART is capable of holding up to 307 passengers and hitting speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour.
You can watch it in action below:
While some of China’s public transport innovations have fared better than others, you certainly can’t blame them for not trying to come up with something new. And while the ART might not look quite as cool as the TEB, at least it might actually work.
[Images via NetEase]
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