Automated Metros Observatory

Asia and Europe together are home to close to 75% of the km of fully automated metro lines (see figure 1), followed by North America (13 %), which was in fact one of the pioneering regions in metro automation. In the last decade, both Latin America and the Middle East have developed fully automated lines, with the Middle East showcasing one of the higher rates of growth.graphique-1


Half of the world’s fully automated metro infrastructure is concentrated in 4 countries: France, South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. France continues to lead the ranking with 16% of the world’s km of fully automated metro lines, followed closely by South Korea (15%). (See figure 2)


The three cities with the most km of metro operated in automated mode are outside Europe – Singapore (93 km), Dubai (80 km) and Vancouver (68 km) – as depicted in figure 3.


The diversity of urban scenarios that represent the above figures highlights the flexibility of full driverless metro operation: automated lines have been deployed now in 37 cities around the world, depicting very different mobility needs and demographic contexts. This demonstrates that fully automated metro solutions are not limited to one type of city, mobility pattern or culture. One of the recurrent questions raised by decision makers concerning automation is public opinion – in particular citizen’s reaction to a train without a driver on front. The variety of cultural contexts in which full metro automation has been successfully deployed demonstrates this is not a real barrier. Another clear indicator on the acceptance of automation is that when a city builds an automated metro line, it never opts for building subsequent lines in conventional, manual operation.