Now, zoom around the mega city of Delhi in a swanky metro train, with no driver! The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) received its first two driverless trains last month, equipped with several advanced features, from a South Korea-based manufacturer, which will ply on the sections of Phase III of the Delhi Metro network, set to be operational by the last quarter of 2016.

The six-coach trains was ferried to India by sea, by arriving at Gujarat’s Mundhra port and was brought by road to New Delhi on specially-made trailers. A total of 20 such train sets of Hyundai Rotem will be manufactured in Changwan in South Korea, while the remaining 61 at the Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) plant in Bangalore.

Both six and eight coach trains would be made and be operational in the two newest lines of the metro network. They would run on the 58 km long Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar and the 39 km long Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden corridors of the Phase-III. Both these sections are expected to be operational by November-December 2016, thereby reducing pressure on other corridors. It will also offer regular commuters alternative routes to reach their destinations instead of passing crowded interchange stations currently like Rajiv Chowk and Kashmere Gate to name a few.

These new trains have undergone significant technological as well as eco-friendly upgrades, and many additional features have been added to increase passenger comfort. They are designed for a maximum speed of 95 km/h and operational speed of 85 km/h. On-board CCTV cameras for inside and outside view of the train are installed for a better safety environment.

Although, initially drivers will be deputed for operating the trains they would be gradually withdrawn to move to Unattended Train Operation (UTO). These new generation trains are suitable to eventually run on UTO mode, that is, train operators will not be required to operate these trains. The Operations Control Centres (OCC) of the Delhi Metro system will directly regulate the movement of the trains.

Also, Dynamic Route Maps in each door panel have been put up to let the passenger know their journey status. In addition to the existing 230V AC charging sockets, USB slots have also been provided for Mobile charging. As compared to the steel seats in other existing trains, fibre reinforced plastic seats have been introduced to add colour to the seats.

The coaches are more wider and more standing space. These trains would be more energy-efficient than the earlier trains because of improved design features such as better regeneration of energy during braking, energy efficient sub systems like LED lighting and air conditioning systems.