Have you heard about the Driverless Metro train? In Big cities, people mostly depend on metro trains because it is the best and high-speed public transportation. Driverless is a revolutionary technology and has many advantages over conventional technology.
Now, let’s see How does a driverless metro work? and how it will impact our lives and the future of the transportation sector.
Many countries including India have already began their test runs and trials of driverless metro and many have accomplished great achievements in it while some did not. Now we going to understand that how a metro without driver works while carrying over 100passengers. The first thing is that a driverless metro runs on a predefined rail line without any turning points and change of rail line. It stops on several predefined points or stations for passengers. The metro gates are automated and automatically open when the footsteps of passengers approaching, although doors also can be opened by pressing a button. The good thing about the driverless metro and normal metro that there is no need for fuel, they run on electric power and it is the verified fact that automated vehicles consume less energy utilization.
Levels of driverless metro
By the year 2050, the need for transportation will increase almost thrice of today it is and the metro will play a crucial role in this field because according to data 70 percent of the population will be living in cities for better jobs and facilities so it requires more transportation. Now we will dig deep about driverless metro and how does it work.
1. Driver assistance mode
In Driven assistance mode, Metro is driven without assistance systems. At this stage, the driver is required to assess the conditions and handle the critical operations required to run the metro
2. Partly automated mode
At this level, the driver is still needed for brake and accelerator but the metro automatically works on many things like protection and safety systems and showing current movement orders constantly at the display screen on the cabin.
3. Semi -automated mode
At this level, the metro will be able to handle few more functions than the above one. The driver has to just operate the engines and the metro will take over all functions from movement of the metro to stopping the process and from security systems to opening and closing of metro doors. At this level, driver’s work is very less or minimal but driver assistance should not be ignored.
4. Driverless mode
At this level of automation, the role of the driver is almost over. Metro can perform all the functions on its own like operating engines, stopping function, movement of metro between two stations or two points, acceleration, controlling security systems, opening and closing of doors and metro can also be able to take necessary precautions in an emergency state. Additional metro can also be available to the same spot in case of more passengers. However, an attendant is also required in case of damage to the system.
5. Full automation or unattended mode
At this level, the metro will be able to operate all the functions from top to bottom like movement of metros between different points, speed, braking, controlling security system, closing and opening of doors, and many more. Driver or attendant is not anymore required at this level of automation. Metro can also able to do damage control in worst-case scenarios and immediately inform the control center.
Now we will talk about the science and technology behind the driverless metro–
Maybe you have already heard about (CBCT) Communication Based Train Control. Through CBCT, communication between metros and track lines is possible which helps in identifying positions of metros, bogeys and helps in acquiring more stability than a conventional system which used earlier. If we compare conventional metro system and CBCT metro system then we find that conventional metro system runs on the signal requirement and also needed the intervention of human while on the other hand CBCT system runs entirely on data and its own understanding. GSM-R and WLAN play a vital role in the CBCT system because they transfer data between metros and help in navigation.
Advantages of Driverless metro train
- Driverless metro does not require fuel and it entirely runs on electric power.
- Driverless metro is more energy efficient due to predefined acceleration.
- Effective performance in braking, stopping, movements, security systems, etc.
- Driverless metro is more economical than conventional ones.
Well, there are few disadvantages also exists like sometimes passengers are worried about safety because most of the peoples are still used to conventional metros and trains and the initial cost of infrastructure and installing automated metros is far greater than average.
Many countries have still not achieved complete automation in the metro perfectly and still in developing stages. India has also completed its first driverless metro test run on 25th December 2020 and ran over 37 km from Janakpuri West to the Botanical garden in Delhi. In the future, the driverless metro will be a big game-changer in the transportation sector and will bring many positive changes.