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Driverless train in Hong Kong offers a peek into the future

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New York City’s Second Avenue Subway wasn’t the only big public transit project to open over the weekend. Hong Kong celebrated a splashy opening of its own when the South Island Line debuted as one of the newest routes in the world to feature a fully autonomous train.

The $2.18 billion new line in Hong Kong’s Southern District will see 170,000 passengers per day traveling the 4.3-mile, four-station route. The 10 three-car trains were designed using Chinese-developed autonomous technology and manufactured by CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles in Hong Kong.

Due to construction delays passengers had to wait almost nine years for the train to open—although not quite as long as the Second Avenue Subway—but travelers confirmed that it was worth the wait: The 11-minute trip replaces a 45-minute bus ride, with trains arriving every 3.5 minutes at peak times.


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