The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) marked a milestone on Monday, December 28 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first-ever driverless train operations on its 38-kilometer long Magenta Line, which connects Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden.
The maiden driverless train is set to be a major technological feat and it will roll out a new era of ‘travelling comfort and enhanced mobility’ for the residents of Delhi and other cities in the National Capital Region, the official statement of the government said.
Delhi Metro, now the country’s largest urban mass rapid transit system, had commenced operations on December 24, 2002 on a 8.4-km stretch between Shahdara and Tis Hazari stations. Since then, its network has been growing, with another 61-km set to be added under the Phase IV expansion project.
India’s first driverless train: all you need to know about the new technology
- The driverless train technology will first be inaugurated on the Magenta Line, connecting Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden, but will be extended to the Pink Line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) by mid-2021.
- The extension of this technology to the Pink Line will increase the driverless network on the Delhi Metro to around 94km, which is nearly 9% of Delhi Metro’s total network.
- After Monday’s inauguration, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will enter the elite league of 7% of the world’s Metro networks, which can operate without drivers.
- The new driverless train will have six coaches and is equipped with several advanced features. All the trains will be equipped with high-resolution cameras to detect rail defects.
- Initially, these trains will have drivers deputed for operating, but they would be gradually withdrawn to move to Unattended Train Operation (UTO).
- In the first phase of grades of automation (GoA) 1, the trains will be run by one driver and, in GoA 2 and GoA 3, the driver's role is further reduced to operating doors and taking over in emergencies. Even the starting and halting of trains is automated and then, in the GoA 4 phase, the trains will be operational in complete automated mode.