Business & Economy

Japan begins testing self-piloted bullet trains

Tokyo, Nov 17 (EFE).- Japanese railway company East Japan Railways said Wednesday it successfully completed tests with a self-piloted bullet train, with the idea of ??introducing the system in the future due to the lack of specialized labor.

The test was carried out in Niigata prefecture with a 12-car E-7 series train, operated automatically, after its operator who was driving it in manual mode activated the autopilot.

This is the first test of its kind carried out with a high-speed train that was already in commercial operations, according to the company.

Although the objective is for trains to operate fully automatically in the future, several operators and technical personnel remained in the cockpit to spot potential problems during the tests.

The train traveled about 5 kilometers between the Niigata station and reached a maximum speed of 110 kmph before stopping at the railway depot in the city, complying with safety standards when braking.

The company has been conducting test runs of high-speed Shinkansen trains that had not been in service since late October, tests that included emergency stops.

The company, which has also tested self-driving trains on other prototypes and on the Tokyo urban rail line, has yet to decide when they would be introduced.

In Japan, there are already automated systems to direct certain monorail trains, including a line in the capital, on railways that do not have crossings or run at ground level.

Other operators in the country are carrying out similar tests in other parts of Japan, to address the lack of operators, a problem that will worsen in coming years, according to demographic projections. EFE


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