Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off India's first fully-automated driverless train service on the Delhi Metro's Magenta Line on December 28. "The driverless trains will be fully automated, which will eliminate the possibility of human error," Prime Minister's Office said.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), in a statement, said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be flagging off the country's first-ever fully-automated driverless train service on the 37km Magenta Line (Janakpuri West to Botanical Garden) and will also be launching the fully operational National Common Mobility Card (NCMC) for travel on the 23km Airport Express Line (New Delhi to Dwarka Sector 21) on December 28, 2020."
The 'driverless' train will run on the 37km long Magenta Line spread across the National Capital Region -- Janakpuri West in Delhi to Botanical Garden in Noida. These new-generation trains' commercial operation, set to be a major technological feat, will begin after the event, a senior Delhi Metro official said.
Both the events - flagging-off of the driverless train as well as the launch of NCMC on the Airport Express Line - will be hosted via video-conferencing, said a senior DMRC official. "After the launch, it will be the first time when commuters will be able to use NCMC on any corridor of the Delhi Metro," he added.
PM Modi, in March 2019, launched the indigenously-developed NCMC, that will allow the cardholders to pay different kinds of transport charges like bus travel, toll taxes, parking charges, retail shopping and even withdraw money. The NCMC card will be available on the entire Delhi Metro network by 2022.
"These trains would be more energy-efficient than the earlier trains of Delhi Metro because of improved design features such as better regeneration of energy during braking, energy-efficient subsystems like LED lighting and air conditioning systems," the DMRC said.
DMRC had been conducting various trials for its new "driverless trains" which are driven by cutting-edge technology and flagging off these trains will be a major technological milestone for the rapid transport network and the country. The driverless trains are expected to operate on Magenta Line and Pink Line, as DMRC's Phase-III network.
Delhi Metro started its commercial operation on December 25, 2002, a day after the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee inaugurated DMRC's first stretch, from Shahdara to Tis Hazari, with just six stations.
Delhi Metro in September 2017 had started full signalling trials of its driverless trains on the Pink Line. The trials were to test the automation of the new metro trains - equipped with Unattended Train Operations (UTO) and CBTC (Communication Based Train Control) signalling systems - which will significantly increase their frequency.
The driverless train with six coaches are designed for a maximum speed of 95 kmph and operational speed of 85 kmph, Delhi Metro had earlier stated. Each coach can accommodate a maximum of 380 passengers - total 2,280 passengers in each train set of six coaches.
(With inputs from PTI)