Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit
|Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit|
|Manufacturer||CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd|
|Entered service||Inauguration date: 2018|
|Car body construction||Space frame with bolted-on panels|
|Train length||3 carriages: 31.64 m (103.8 ft)|
|Width||2.65 m (8.7 ft)|
|Height||3.4m (11.1 ft)|
|Low-floor||Passenger friendly low floor design|
|Maximum speed||70 km/h (43,5) mph|
|Power supply||Lithium–titanate batteries|
|Wheels driven||Rubber wheels on a plastic core|
|Bogies||Multi-axle steering system|
|Minimum turning radius||15 m (49,2 ft)|
|Max. distance at full charge||40 km (25 miles)|
|Min. width of lane||3.83 m (12.5 ft)|
|Length of test track in Zhuzhou||6.5 km (4 miles)|
|Life expectancy||25+ years for body structure|
|Cost||Approx. Yuan 15 Mio (USD 2.2 Mio)|
Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART, Chinese: 智轨列车) is a railless system for urban passenger transport, similar to other guided busways. Developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd, it was unveiled in Zhuzhou in Hunan province on 2 June 2017.
The product has been described as a crossover between a train, a bus and a tram. Its external appearance, composed of individual, fixed sections joined together by articulated gangways, resembles a rubber-tyred tram, although it has the flexibility to move around like a normal articulated bus.
An ART train with three carriages is approximately 30 metres (98 ft) long and costs approximately 15 million yuan (USD $2.2 million) to build. It can travel at a speed of 70 km/h (43.5 mph) and can carry up to 300 passengers. A five-carriage train provides space for 500 passengers. Two trains can follow each other at close proximity without being mechanically connected. The entire train has a low-floor design from a space frame with bolted-on panels to support the weight of passengers. It is built as a bi-directional vehicle, with driver's cabs at either end allowing it to travel in either direction at full speed.
Sensors and batteries
The ART is equipped with various sensors to assist the driver in following the route on a virtual track, or to make detours in the case of traffic jams. A Lane Departure Warning System helps to keep the vehicle in its lane and automatically warns, if it drifts away from the lane. A Collision Warning System supports the driver on keeping a safe distance with other vehicles on the road and if the proximity reduces below a given level, it alerts the driver by a warning sign. The Route Change Authorization is navigation device, which analyzes the traffic conditions on the chosen route and can recommend a detour to avoid traffic congestion. The Electronic Rearview Mirrors work with remotely adjustable cameras and provide a clearer view than conventional mirrors including an auto dimming device to reduce the glare.
The train is powered by lithium–titanate batteries and can travel a distance of 40 km (25 miles) per full charge. The batteries can be recharged via current collectors at stations. The recharging time for a 3 to 5 km (2 to 3 mile) trip is 30 seconds, and for a 25 km (15 mile) trip, 10 minutes.
Benefits and limitations
Having no permanent track enables flexible operations according to traffic conditions, e.g. by suggesting detours in the case of road traffic accidents or ongoing construction work. The vehicle based system interacts with an intelligent signal communication feature enabling priority pass at traffic lights. The railless system provides low construction and maintenance cost, because there are no railway tracks to maintain. Using quick charge batteries reduces the need for overhead cables en route between the stations and produces no exhaust gases within urban areas.
Since the ART is a guided bus system, ruts and depressions will be worn into the road by the accurate alignment of the large number of wheels, which are controlled by the multi-axle steering system. The suitability of the system for winter climate has been considered but not yet been proven on ice and snow.
A 6.5 km (4 miles) long ART line will be built through downtown Zhuzhou and will be inaugurated in 2018. The lanes are at least 3.83 m (12,5 ft) wide and have a minimum turning radius of 15 m (49,2 ft).
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