Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit

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Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART)
智能轨道快运系统 (智轨)[1]
CRRC Autonomous-rail Rapid Transit train at Metro Trans 2018 (20180613150358).jpg
ManufacturerCRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd
Entered serviceInauguration date: 2018[2][3]
Number built1
Car body constructionSpace frame with bolted-on panels
Train length3 carriages: 31.64 m
(103 ft 9 58 in)
Width2.65 m (8 ft 8 38 in)[4]
Height3.4 m (11 ft 1 78 in)[4]
Low-floorPassenger friendly low floor design[8]
Maximum speed70 km/h (43 mph)[5]
Power supplyLithium–titanate batteries[6]
Wheels drivenRubber wheels on a plastic core[7]
BogiesMulti-axle steering system[6]
Minimum turning radius15 m (49.2 ft)
  • 307 in 3 carriages[9]
  • 500 in 5 carriages
Max. distance at full charge40 km (25 miles)[2]
Charging time
  • 30 sec for 3 to 5 km
    (1.9 to 3.1 miles): [8]
  • 10 min for 25 km
    (16 miles)[7]
Min. width of lane3.83 m (12.6 ft)[10]
Length of test track in Zhuzhou6.5 km (4.0 miles)
Life expectancy25+ years for body structure
CostApprox. Yuan 15 Mio (USD 2.2 Mio)[6]

Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit (ART, Chinese: 智能轨道快运系统/智轨)[1] is a railless guided bus system for urban passenger transport. Developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Institute Co Ltd, it was unveiled in Zhuzhou in Hunan province on 2 June 2017.[2][3][11]

The product has been described as a crossover between a train, a bus and a tram.[12] 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 or trackless train.


An ART train with three carriages is approximately 30 m (98 ft) long and costs approximately 15 million yuan (USD $2.2 million) to build.[6] It can travel at a speed of 70 km/h (43 mph) and can carry up to 300 passengers.[5] A five-carriage train provides space for 500 passengers.[2][5] Two trains can follow each other at close proximity without being mechanically connected.[10] The entire train has a low-floor design[8] 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[edit]

The ART is equipped with various sensors to assist the driver in following the route on a virtual track,[2] or to make detours in the case of traffic jams.[9][10] 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.[6]

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.[4] The recharging time for a 3 to 5 km (1.9 to 3.1 mi) trip is 30 seconds,[8] and for a 25 km (16 mi) trip, 10 minutes.[7]

Benefits and limitations[edit]

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.[6] Using quick charge batteries reduces the need for overhead lines 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.

List of commercial operation lines[edit]

List of commercial operation lines
Line System Locale Length Stations Opened
Line T1 Yibin ART Yibin 17.7 km (11.0 mi)[1] 17 2019-12-05

Test track[edit]

A 6.5 km (4.0 miles) long ART line will be built through downtown Zhuzhou and will be inaugurated in 2018.[2] The lanes are at least 3.83 m (12.6 ft) wide[10] and have a minimum turning radius of 15 m (49.2 ft).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "宜宾:全球首条智能轨道快运系统运营线开通". 2019-12-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f First railless train unveiled in CRRC Zhuzhou. CRRC web site, 6 June 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Xiang Bo: Chinese rail maker develops smart bus. Xinhua, 2 June 2017 20:26. Downloaded on 4. August 2017.
  4. ^ a b c World's first train running on virtual tracks released. New China TV, 2 June 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Newman, Peter (September 25, 2018). "Why Trackless Trams Are Ready to Replace Light Rail". The Conversation US. Archived from the original on May 12, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Neha Rastogi: China Unwraps World’s first Driverless Rail Transit System with Autonomous Technology. EngineersGarage. Downloaded on 23 July 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Amazing World: Track-less train : The transit system uses rubber wheels on a plastic core : Trains without track. 3 June 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d Quick charge! Supercapacitor tram unveiled in China. New China TV, 2 June 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Vocativ: This Train Runs On Virtual Tracks. China Central Television (CCTV), 6 June 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d Ken Huang: ART 宣传视频2017. 5 April 2017. Downloaded on 22 July 2017.
  11. ^ Spiegel TV.
  12. ^ "China Built a Self-Driving... Something". Popular Mechanics. 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2017-07-26.