Its maker, Chinese rail transit firm crrc, is calling it a “smart bus.” It’s modular and carriages can be added on like a bus, it runs on the road. The carriage will follow a preset path and won’t need a driver — but it won’t need tracks to be laid, either. The train is equipped with sensors that’ll allow it to follow white-dotted lines on the road. The smart bus, or autonomous rail rapid transit (art), is touted to be much cheaper than subway or tram systems, since it doesn’t require infrastructure to be laid down. This could prove to be the solution for many medium or small cities in China that can’t afford to build train lines. It costs up to $102 million to build a kilometre of a subway track, but only $2 million to construct a virtual track.
Would you ever ride on a train that runs on a virtual track?