Watch: China unveils world's first 'trackless' train

China has debuted a train that runs on “virtual tracks.” The Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) Locomotive, has been created with the hope to fundamentally solve urban traffic, emissions and other congestion related problems, by combining a bus-rail combo rapid transit system.

Deeksha Bhushan June 05, 2017 17:00:09 IST

The Chinese city of Zhuzhou, in the Hunan province, has debuted a train that runs on “virtual tracks.” The product, named Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) by railcar-maker CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, has been created with the hope to fundamentally solve urban traffic, emissions and other congestion related problems, by combining a bus-rail combo rapid transit system.

The ART reportedly runs on rubber wheels with a plastic core, and its sensor technology understands the dimensions of the road, allowing it to track the guiding system that's laid out. The train currently has three carriages, but can expand up to five,and can hold over 300 passengers. The length of the train, 31.64m, and its two locomotive body allow it to turn easier on the streets, and its twin-head system eliminates the need for U-turns.

The company, which has been testing the ART technology since 2013, announced that the train will be ready to roll out to the public by 2018. But this isn’t the first of China’s incredible innovations in the world of transportation. A Transit Elevated Bus, known as Batie or “the straddling bus”, was brought to the attention of the world for the first time in 2010, and then “relaunched” in 2016 to much criticism. But despite receiving a road-test in the city of Qinhuandao, the project did not receive any more traction or see any more progress.

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