Chongqing, a municipality in Sichuan province in central China, put a driverless rail transit system, BYD SkyShuttle, into operation in Bishan district. The fully automatic electric trains run on a 15.4-kilometer elevated rail line with 15 stations. The SkyShuttle can transport 6,000 to 10,000 people per hour and can reach a maximum speed of 80 km per hour.
Developed by new energy vehicle manufacturer BYD in a bid to tackle major contemporary urban issues including air pollution and traffic congestion, the rail transit system involves electricity-powered, autonomous trains and represented an investment of more than $1.5 billion.
SkyShuttle has an advantage over conventional urban transport solutions due to its low construction costs and a short construction period, according to the company. It also integrates well into the surrounding environment, according to the company.
It is expected to provide urbanites with a safer and smarter travel experience, keeping noise levels low and operating stably. The vehicles are able to make turns at a minimum radius of 15 meters, and can carry 6,000 to 10,000 passengers per hour at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour.
Passengers can now take the SkyShuttle by swiping a travel card, scanning a QR code, or using a facial recognition system.
The municipality has a population of 31 million people. The city of Chongqing, comprising 9 urban and suburban districts, has a population of 8,750,000. It serves as a financial center of the Sichuan Basin and the upstream Yangtze. It is a major manufacturing and transportation center.