Giving a boost to the urban mass rapid transit system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the first-ever ‘driverless’ train operations in Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line connecting the Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden.
The PM also inaugurated the fully operational National Common Mobility Card services on the Airport Express Line via video-conferencing.
India’s first ‘driverless’ Metro will roll out on the 38-km line of a 390-km-long network spread across the National Capital and adjoining cities, including Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ghaziabad and Bahadurgarh.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was quoted as saying “these innovations are going to herald a new era of travelling, comfort and enhanced mobility for Delhi-NCR residents. With the commencement of driverless trains on the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line, DMRC will enter the elite league of 7% of the world’s Metro networks, which can operate without drivers.”
With this development, Delhi metro has become the country’s largest urban mass rapid transit system.
The technology requires minimum human intervention as it is “fully automated” and will eliminate the possibilities of “human error”. The Delhi Metro is considered a pioneer in introducing “technology driven solutions for passenger comfort”.
Standards of automation called grades of automation (GoA) have been set for the driverless train.
In GoA 1, trains will be run by one driver, in GoA 2 and GoA 3, the role of the driver is reduced to operating doors and for taking over in case of emergencies (the starting and halting of trains is automated). Lastly, in the GoA 4, trains will obviate the need of manual monitoring.
The Delhi Metro had commenced its operations in 2002 on a 8.4-km stretch between Shahdara and Tis Hazari stations. Since then the facility has made several technological leaps, in terms of operating trains. This is the latest development.
DMRC has also announced that they are preparing to introduce the driverless technology on the 57-km Pink Link corridor by mid-2021, further increasing the driverless network in the national capital to around 94kms.