German railway company Deutsche Bahn and industrial group Siemens have unveiled the world’s first driverless automated train to be built in Hamburg.
Deutsche Bahn described in a statement that the train would be more punctuated and more energy-efficient than conventional trains.
The statement said that four trains of this type will join the high-speed railway network in northern Hamburg, and will start carrying passengers from next December, using the existing railway infrastructure.
Other cities, such as Paris, have a metro without a driver, but they often have automatic monorail stations that operate on individual tracks, while the Hamburg train will operate on other regular train tracks.
Deutsche Bahn CEO Richard Lutz said automated trains offer “a more reliable” service “without having to lay a single kilometer of new track”.
Siemens and Deutsche Describe the project as “a first of its kind in the world” and is part of a €60m (US$70m) budget to modernize Hamburg’s high-speed rail system.
The statement added that although the train will be controlled through digital technology, a driver will still be present to supervise the trips whenever there are passengers on board.