CHONGQING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality put its first driverless rail transit system, BYD SkyShuttle, into operation in Bishan District on Friday, according to local authorities.
Developed by China's leading new energy vehicle manufacturer BYD, the rail transit system involves electricity-powered, autonomous trains running on a 15.4 km elevated rail line. There are 15 stations along the route.
The company has invested more than 1.5 billion U.S. dollars over seven years in the development of the tram-train system, in a bid to tackle major contemporary urban issues including air pollution and traffic congestion.
SkyShuttle has the edge over conventional urban transport solutions as it has low construction costs and a short construction period, and it integrates well into the surrounding environment, according to the company.
It is expected to provide urbanites with a safer and smarter travel experience, keeping noise levels low and operating stably. The vehicles are able to make turns at a minimum radius of 15 meters, and can carry 6,000 to 10,000 passengers per hour at a maximum speed of 80 km per hour.
Passengers can now take the SkyShuttle by swiping a travel card, scanning a QR code, or using a facial recognition system.