On 4 December, East Japan Railway Company (JR East) officially announced its first steps towards automated metro operation, with demonstration tests of an autonomous train on the Yamanote Line.
JR East are now testing the first elements of a new ATO system on the line, which will be able to automatically adapt the speed of trains based on operation conditions. These tests will take place on 29 and 30 December and on 5 and 6 January, after the last passenger service train, using an E235 series train without passengers on board.
The introduction of driverless operation is part of JR East’s management vision “MOVE UP 2027”. JR East is planning driverless operation for the Yamanote line and the high speed Shinkansen (bullet train).
Source: JR East (press release in Japanese)