(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- The “SkyRail” self-driving public transportation system, which new-energy vehicle maker BYD Co. and telecoms firm Huawei Technologies Co. developed, underwent testing yesterday, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The monorail ran steadily on a track four meters above ground in Yinchuan in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. It does not have a cockpit, driver or conductor. The train arrived, stopped at the station and opened its doors automatically.
The first 5.67 kilometers of the project became operational in Yinchuan in August 2017. About 20 Chinese cities have signed deals for similar systems, and seven or eight will likely come online this year. The Philippines, Egypt and Morocco have penned intention of cooperation agreements for SkyRails.
The train adopts BYD’s control and positioning technologies and Huawei’s 4.5G rail traffic wireless network technology, said Wang Faping, the system’s chief engineer.
SkyRail trains featuring the driverless system will enter trial commercial operation in the second quarter, Wang said.
Working on SkyRail is one of BYD’s major businesses. The monorail can go up to 80 kilometers per hour. The system takes up less space and is cheaper than conventional metros.