World’s first ‘train’ that runs on virtual rails starts test-run in Hunan
It’s essentially a big driverless bus
The Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) is a sort of bus-train hybrid that runs not on rails, but by using sensors to determine the dimensions of the road and make a virtual track for itself to ride along.
Last year, it was was dubbed by Chinese state media the “world’s first smart rapid rail bus.” Now, it’s being called, more simply, the “word’s first smart bus.”
However, we’re not sure that latter label is entirely accurate and remain uncertain whether to call the thing a bus-train, a train-bus, or just a big bus.
The ART was first shown off last June before taking to a short test track in the Hunan city of Zhuzhou later that year.
Now, it is being tested out on an even longer track (3 km) iin Zhuzhou. You can watch it in action below, just try to ignore the driver who appears to be steering this “driverless” contraption.
China’s CRRC began developing the ART back in 2013 as a 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.
Though 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 “straddling bus,” at least it might actually work.
[Images via China Daily]