In the 30 years since the implementation of the first automated metro lines, the growth rate for automated metro has doubled with each passing decade – an exponential growth that is set to quadruple in the coming decade. Current forecasts, based on confirmed projects, indicate that by 2025 there will be over 2,300 km of fully automated metro lines in operation (figure 11).
This growth will mainly concentrate in the Middle East, Europe and Asia (see figure 12) – together they will account for 85% of new km of automated lines, with Latin America accounting for another 11% of the total projected growth. Significantly, 26% of the new km in Europe will correspond to conversion projects.
In 2025, Asia and Europe are expected to account for 33% and 30% of the world’s km of automated metro lines respectively, followed by the Middle East: thanks to its elevated growth rates, it will represent 25% of the world’s km of automated metro. China announced the opening of its first full automated line for the end of 2017 – a significant first that may translate in even higher growth rates if China embraces automation for its many expanding systems.