Swiss railway company tests driverless train

2017-12-06 14:44:00
Summary:Swiss Federal Railways said Tuesday it has tested a system to automate train traffic without the presence of a human driver.
GENEVA, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Swiss Federal Railways said Tuesday it has tested a system to automate train traffic without the presence of a human driver.

The national railway company expects to increase its capacity and safety through the project.

Swiss Federal Railways CEO Andreas Meyer told Swiss public radio, SRF News, that the plan is to get more trains on Swiss tracks.

"Automatic driving tools can reduce the distance between trains. With shorter gaps between the trains we can bring more trains onto the tracks, and that means more seats for passengers and more tons of freight," Meyer said.

The goal is to increase the capacity by 30 percent, said the railway company.

In the early hours of Tuesday, a train carrying about 30 people made its way along a stretch of track between the capital Bern and Zurich, the main financial center.

There was no human being touching the physical controls. Instead, a remote system steered the train for a while, both braking and accelerating,

Asked whether it is safe, Meyer said "absolutely."

He said, however, the technology will not replace human train drivers.

"The train driver's job will become more of a monitoring role," Meyer said. "But in our heavily used and varied transport system, we need staff who are familiar with the different train models."

The Swiss city of Sion has also been testing driverless buses recently.

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