The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) marked a milestone on Monday, December 28 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first-ever driverless train operations on its 38-kilometer long Magenta Line, which connects Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden.
According to an official statement issued on Sunday, the DMRC had said that the inauguration will be a virtual one as PM Modi flags off India’s first driverless train via video conferencing at 11am. Along with it, PM Modi will also launch the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) services on the Airport Express Line.
The maiden driverless train is set to be a major technological feat and it will roll out a new era of ‘travelling comfort and enhanced mobility’ for the residents of Delhi and other cities in the National Capital Region, the official statement of the government said. With the introduction of the driverless trains, the DMRC will be part of an elite league of 7 percent of world’s Metro networks which can operate without drivers, the DMRC statement added.
After the commencement of the driverless services on the Magenta Line, the DMRC also announced that they are preparing to introduce similar service on their 57- kilometer Pink Line which connects Shiv Vihar to Majlis Park, by the mid of 2021. Once operational, it would increase the driverless network to 94 kilometers or close to nine per cent of the total network of the DMRC.
The maiden driverless train is set to be a major technological feat & it will roll out a new era of ‘travelling comfort and enhanced mobility’ for the residents of Delhi and other cities in the NCR, the official statement of the govt said. Read more: https://t.co/CWD3pB9tgL pic.twitter.com/a6755I5SAf— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 28, 2020
This new event heralds the first major milestone for the Delhi Metro this year which resumed services after September 7. The DMRC services were earlier closed for over five months due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown. The new gen train service will not only be a major technological milestone for the DMRC but also for the nation.
The new driverless train will have six coaches and is equipped with several advanced features. Initially, these trains will have drivers deputed for operating, but they would be gradually withdrawn to move to Unattended Train Operation (UTO). The officials also explained that the driverless train technology has set standards for automation called grades of automation (GoA). In the first phase of GoA 1, the trains will be run by one driver and, in GoA 2 and GoA 3, the driver's role is further reduced to operating doors and taking over in emergencies. Even the starting and halting of trains is automated and then, in the GoA 4 phase, the trains will be operational in complete automated mode.
Beginning today, the Magenta line between Janakpuri West and Botanical Garden, GoA 3 will be adopted for the services.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), now boasts of the nation’s largest urban mass rapid transit system, had started its operations on December 24, 2002. Since then its network which has a 390-km-long network has vastly expanded and another 61 kilometers is set to be added under its Phase IV project.