Madrid PM Isabel Diaz Ayuso at the presentation of AI system in the Madrid Metro, Source: Comunidad de Madrid

Madrid set to join driverless metro club

Madrid set to join driverless metro club

The first automated train line in the Spanish capital will serve the futuristic Madrid Nuevo Norte district

On Wednesday, 14 December, the Government of the Madrid Region approved the financing necessary to construct what will be the Spanish capital’s first automated metro line. More specifically, this will be a new line extending north from the Chamartin station and serving the business-oriented Madrid Nuevo Norte district, which is itself an ongoing development project.

The objective is to resolve the mobility demands of residents residing in this skyscraper-dotted urban development by the year 2029. The projected line of 3 kilometres will count with three new stops - Centro de Negocios, Fuencarral Sur and Fuencarral Norte. It will have the capacity to serve the needs of 40,000 daily passengers.

Other cities with automated metros

Although this will be a pioneering solution in the public transit landscape of the Spanish metropolis, driverless subway trains have already become a common feature in some other cities around the world.

Several Asian countries are leaders in urban train automation, with capitals such as Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, with 126 and 97 kilometres, respectively. Most of the EU operators also have this technology. France is the European country with the most kilometres of automatic metro, highlighting those of Lille and Paris, with 47 and 33 each. 

Other networks such as Rome, Milan, Turin, Copenhagen or Budapest also have this service. In Spain, Metro de Barcelona has 25% of its network in operation without a driver. 

The automatic Metros allow a greater capacity and total adaptation of mobility offer to the demand, improving the frequency in rush hour and at the same time reducing possible incidents. And, in no case does it imply a decrease in jobs, since an organization model is encouraged in which operators require a broader set of skills and greater versatility and flexibility.



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