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Welcome to the future: China launches train that doesn't need tracks and appears to float through the streets! Virtual rail technology takes urban mobility to another level

Written by Valdemar Medeiros
Published 18/06/2024 às 09:09
China launches train that doesn't need tracks and appears to float through the streets
Photo: Floating train becomes real in China

China has developed an innovative technology that promises to transform transportation: a train that does not require tracks or drivers. Understand how this vehicle with virtual rails works and its implications for the future of mobility.

China's gigantic cities present a real challenge for authorities in terms of urban mobility. To address this problem, China is innovating advanced solutions to improve passenger transportation. An example of this is the Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART), the first train in the world that does not need tracks. This revolutionary vehicle uses virtual rail technology, delivering a new era in efficient and sustainable urban transportation. Check out all the details about the world's first trackless train!

Train with 'virtual tracks' can reach up to 70 km/h

Trackless train technology was developed by CRRC Corporation and uses a magnetic ground detection system that allows the trains to guide themselves. Vehicle operates with rubber tires with pre-defined trajectory remotely, basically relying on virtual tracks. 

This way, there is no need for a driver, allowing it to circulate on common roads, alongside cars. Furthermore, an autonomous system for detecting pedestrians and obstacles on the road prevents any type of accident.

China launches train that doesn't need tracks and appears to float through the streets
Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) – Disclosure

With a speed of up to 70 km per hour, the train that does not need tracks is defended by experts as an 'alternative to relieve cities and revitalize suburbs'. To date, the train that uses virtual tracks operates at combustion, but it can be electrified by the ground as well.

The objective is that it will help China achieve its sustainable development goals by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is worth mentioning that countries such as Zimbabwe, Qatar and Australia also plan to invest in train technology that does not require tracks.

Trackless train can carry up to 300 passengers

CRRC Corporation introduced an innovation by using rubber wheels with a plastic core, a unique model on the market. The estimate is that the trackless train will have a useful life of approximately 25 years. At 32 meters long, it can accommodate up to 300 passengers at once.

China launches train that doesn't need tracks and appears to float through the streets
Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART) – Disclosure

As previously mentioned, instead of relying on physical trails, it follows dotted lines painted on the road, 3,75 meters wide. The model is equipped with advanced sensors that detect the pavement and collect crucial information during the journey.

With a unique and innovative design, the train that uses virtual tracks is considered an evolution of the traditional public bus, resembling a tram. Its independent operation of physical tracks, and the two-head system allows it to function like a subway train, eliminating the need for maneuvers to change direction.

This advance represents a significant improvement for the city of Zhuzhou, which is home to a population of approximately 4 million inhabitants, providing an efficient and modern transport solution.

Europe bets on magnetic levitation trains

In addition to the innovative train that does not need tracks, another project is being developed in Europe, which is betting on magnetic levitation to speed up transport. O hyperloops It is a modern train that uses magnetic levitation, that is, it floats in the air using magnets and travels inside a vacuum tube to avoid air resistance.

The vehicle has two engines, one for levitating it and the other for propulsion, to make it move forward, and reach incredible speeds of up to a thousand kilometers per hour, putting Formula 1 cars to shame. This type of technology is also already being used with some under construction in China and Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

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Valdemar Medeiros

Journalist in training, specialist in creating content with a focus on SEO actions. Writes about the Automotive Industry, Renewable Energy and Science and Technology

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