Driverless Public Transit Systems

 Fact Finding Tour - South Korea




Why Driver-less Public Transport?


A number of reasons have boosted the application of driver-less public transport (PT) systems. The most important one is the partial elimination of the “human factor”. A computer-controlled operating system is more reliable then the best trained operator. Humans make not only mistakes, but also have their limitations in controlling the sometimes very complex operating control systems to keep today’s metro systems, people-movers and monorails systems operational.


Pasenger benefits


If driverless PT is introduced, computers can be programmed to very short headway spacing between trains on single tracks, allowing greater use of the rail system. In combination with safety features such as platform doors and other boarding and de-boarding control devices, the headway between trains can be considerably reduced and thus passengers per direction per hours substantially increased.


With all this the passenger benefits. Waiting times at the stations are reduced since more trains roll in and out. Nothing is more frustrating then long waits for the next train. Another benefit is that shorter trains and thus shorter platforms needed to reduce the investments in station construction.


Operator benefits


For public transport operators the benefit is that no longer a train driver is required, which usual is a substantial part of operating cost. For security and safety reasons a conductor may still be needed. This depends on local conditions and legal obligations.


Passenger safety and security


There are also arguments against driverless PT. One most heard is that a driver is needed to control emergency situations in and outside of the trains during travel. Since most trains operate already by computer control, this argument becomes less and less important. Remote control and observations systems, including on-train cameras, are today a fraction of the investments in a total operation of PT. At busy stations during peak hours a safety and security officer riding on the trains can do the security control. At low traffic hours remote control cameras with intelligent software to detect any out of the ordinary situation should be sufficient.





Korea Railways & Logistics Fair, or RailLog Korea, is Korea’s leading international trade fair for railway technology, infrastructure and logistics.


Biennially held since 2003, RailLog Korea is positioning itself as the latest and globally competitive venue for Railway Technology / Interior Fittings / Infrastructure / Logistics. RailLog Korea is now ranked the world’s fourth largest railway show with 14,000sqm of space.


The 7th edition of the fair will take place from 10 – 13 June 2015 at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center in Busan, South Korea.


This Fact Finding Tour is organized by Brisk Events - Division of Nedland BV Technology Tour Organizers, Sluithek 6, 3831 PB, Leusden, the Netherlands.

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