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2. May 2012 Comments Off on Paris Metro becomes driverless Views: 1246 All Snapshots, Digital City

Paris Metro becomes driverless

Paris has one of the heaviest traffics in the world and only a few people walk or ride a bicycle.

In order to avoid long traffic jams and waiting periods, most Parisians use the great metro system, which is one of the biggest world-wide (214 kilometers). In 2011, it had its 111th jubilee, but the main problem nowadays is that a lot of stations are obsolescent and in need of renovation. Have a look at the video below to get an impression:

To provide shorter waiting times and more flexibility, Paris started the reference project RATP, together with Siemens, in order to improve the public transportation system by automating it. That means that the metros should become driverless and therefore more efficient and energy-saving.

Since 1998, route 14 is driverless and automatic, which results in an improved capacity and more security. The current plan is to do the same with route 1, which is one of the most frequently used metro routes in Paris, with about 750 000 passengers every day. The first step was already done by automating some trains in winter 2010. The plan is to automate all trains of the route by making them driverless (13 driverless trains instead of 30 trains with drivers). The automation provides more security, shorter waiting times and distance spacing, plus more flexibility and steadiness.

Until the end of 2012, the stations will get glass walls with doors that open automatically when the train arrives, in order to make the travelling more secure. Additionally to the secure glass walls, the route will also get about 800 cameras, which supervise the 17 kilometers long route. Their pictures will be sent to the primary control unit and the operations control technology. But how does this innovative technology work? In the metro, a computer (Automatic Train Operation) controls the whole operation of the drive. A second computer (Automatic Train Protection) supervises the first computer and if necessary, corrects it. The ATC system registers every action of the metro with a back transfer channel. Therefore the system knows the position of every train and how fast they are driving. The metros are also equipped with navigation equipment, transmitting and receiving aerials.

The world-wide metropolises are still growing and are therefore in need of efficient mobility solutions. This market is estimated at 3.5 – 4 billion euro per anno.

Author: Norina Künzl
Date: 2 May 2012



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