The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) today launched the website of the Observatory of Automated Metros. The aim of the website is to disseminate information on driverless lines.
Metro operation without drivers or staff on board, referred to as unattended train operation (UTO), has become a widespread and accepted solution. Today, over 40 lines around the world are automated and, if current trends prevail, the number of automated lines worldwide will be multiplied by five by 2025.
Automated lines represent the state of the art in metro technology and provide a glimpse of the future for metro networks. Automation offers benefits in terms of improved quality, service and safety and is therefore attractive for authorities and operators planning new lines, but also for the sector as a whole, thanks to the possibility of converting existing lines. To make the most of the possible advantages requires not only thinking about technical aspects, but also rethinking the organisation of the metro system as a whole.
In this context, the Observatory of Automated Metros, a UITP body set up in 2007 to monitor, study and share the most current and relevant knowledge on metro automation, has launched an information-rich website: www.metroautomation.org
“The new website aims to provide information on metro automation, both for professionals and non professionals. It draws on knowledge from its members, who represent a wide range of experience and technological solutions and come from different geographical areas, as well from monitoring developments in the sector,” says Ramon Malla, the Chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and Director of Automated Lines at TMB, Barcelona.
Interactive world map and latest news
One of the main features of the website is an interactive map providing the basic facts on all automated metro lines in the world. This map will be updated regularly and is to be a resource for all those interested in metro automation.
There are currently more than 600km of automated metro lines in operation, with the first fully automated metro lines dating from 1981.
The information in the interactive map is complemented with a news section that will follow and link to sector news and developments, providing a one-stop shop for automation milestones around the world, including extensions, new lines and conversions of existing lines.
“The website will pay special attention to conversions of existing lines. Following the first two successful conversions of lines in Nuremberg and in Paris, the automation of existing lines offers opportunities for upgrading networks,” says Gérald Churchill, a member of the Observatory and Director of automation operations for RATP Line 1 in Paris.
Publications and Seminars
The Observatory’s Annual World Report, available on the website, provides a picture of the year’s developments and trends, including key aspects such as train capacity, platform screen doors, power supply, etc. Another section provides general information on metro automation.
The website will also act as a metro automation “information hub”, offering a sample of the Observatory’s work, and access to a limited selection of the approximately 200 documents relating to metro automation available in the UITP Documentation Centre.
It will also be possible to follow the Observatory’s open activities through the website. Besides studies, publications and participation in conferences, the Observatory organises an annual Open Seminar for public transport professionals. Its 3rd edition, held in Paris in 2012, attracted over 150 participants. The 4th edition of the Automated Metro Seminar will be held from 6-7 September 2013 in London. More information will be available on the website in the coming weeks.