(Yicai Global) June 8 -- China Railway has started a field test of its high-speed electric multiple unit train autopilot system on the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed rail line, marking new progress in the country's core technological innovation for smart high-speed railways, China Central Television reported on its website.
The test train departed yesterday from Shenyang North Railway Station and ran between that city and Heishan on a section of the Beijing-Shenyang high-speed rail line in China's northeastern Liaoning province, which has a maximum speed of up to 350 kilometers per hour. The EMU was able to start, stop and run automatically between stations and sections.
Unlike actual unmanned driving, drivers are still required to be on duty during the autopilot testing, but driver Zhang Kai was really nothing but a backup to the autonomous operating system, he said. "It's working, while I'm just monitoring it. My hands are practically free," he added.
The trial will continue until the end of September, representatives from China Railway noted. The results of future tests will apply to the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed rail line and the inter-city line between Beijing and Xiong'an New Area in adjacent Hebei province.
The Dongguan-Huizhou and Foshan-Zhaoqing inter-city rail lines in China's southeastern Guangdong province have already successfully autopiloted to 200 km/h.
Editor: Ben Armour