The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) plans to have driverless operations for the Metro 3 corridor connecting Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ. The trains will be equipped with facilities to automatically control the train speed that will do away with the need for a driver.
It is not a fashion to have driverless metros anymore, it is a need when you have heavy Metro operations. It is a different culture and how Mumbaikars will react to it is something only time will tell,” said A K Bhatt, Director, Systems, MMRC.
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Equipped with grade of automation level four, the train can ply without a driver. However, in the initial year, drivers will be present in the train to test for safety and to prevent any eventuality.
The trains will also have a time-interval system that allows for maximum utilisation of tracks and rolling stock. In this system, the trains can run one behind the other only maintaining the necessary distance for safety. This can be done as all the trains are connected to the operation control centre and all the trains know how far the next train is and at what speed it is travelling.
The 33.5-km line will also be equipped with other modern facilities. The automatic fare collection machines will be compatible with the long-due integrated ticketing system. Commuters will be able to use the same card to travel in different modes of transport within the city.
MMRC will also tie up with banks to create a system where commuters can simply use their cards as tickets, but without physically swiping it.
The platforms will have screen doors that will ensure not just safety of commuters but also provide an energy-efficient option by not allowing hot air into the platform.
Metro 3 will begin with 31 trains with eight cars each, and not 35 trains with six cars each as planned earlier.