(Yicai Global) July 18 -- Hang-Shao-Tai Railway, China's first high-speed rail transit project that is in part funded by private capital, may also become the country's first high-speed railway that uses artificial intelligence in its operation.
China Railway Gecent Technology, which runs a train wifi application, and Hangshaotai Railway, the project company, penned a cooperation agreement, The Paper reported. The route, slated for 2021, will connect the cities of Hangzhou, Shaoxing and Taizhou in eastern Zhejiang province.
AI may be applied to the construction and client services, CRGT's Chief Executive Pan Yunbin told The Paper. CRGT, a joint venture between China Railway Investment, Geely Holding Group and Tencent Holdings, offers rail transit passengers with wifi services, including those related to entertainment, food takeout, and e-commerce.
The project investment has risen to CNY14.8 billion (USD2.2 billion) as nearly all of the land has been secured while about one-third of the construction is done, according to the same report. Hangshaotai still needs to invest CNY13 billion this year. The firm started building the largest planned station of Taizhou in late June.
AI will be deployed at stations. New technologies can reduce labor costs so lighting among other equipment in the stations will be managed by robots, Pan said.
The Internet of Things and AI can improve passengers' travel experiences by diversifying and customizing them, said Wu Peirong, general manager of Hangshaotai, which was formed by China State Railway Group, Zhejiang's provincial government and a clutch of private firms led by conglomerate Fosun International.
Editor: Emmi Laine