Driverless Metro trains in Mumbai will be run by pilots for 3 years, says MMRDA, after Delhi incident | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Driverless Metro trains in Mumbai will be run by pilots for 3 years, says MMRDA, after Delhi incident

Authorities wary of relying on technology completely till the system is streamlined

mumbai Updated: Dec 21, 2017 10:38 IST
Tanushree Venkatraman
Tanushree Venkatraman
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Metro,Driverless Metro
The first tunnel boring machine, lowered in September, completes drilling 50m for the 33.5-km underground Metro- 3 line at the launching shaft at Naya Nagar in Mahim.(MMRC)

While the crashing of a driverless Metro into a wall in Delhi alarmed authorities and citizens, Mumbai’s proposed Metro lines may soon use the technology. However, officials have allayed fears as the operations will be pilot-driven till the system is completely streamlined.

On Tuesday, a driverless Metro, on a trial run, broke through a boundary wall at the Kalindi Kunj depot in southeast Delhi in the afternoon. The train was to be part of the Botanical Garden-Kalkaji Mandir section (Magenta line). It turned to be a huge embarrassment for the Metro authorities as the train is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 25.

In Mumbai, the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning to procure trains that run without an operator for three Metro corridors — Metro-2A (Dahisar to DN Nagar), Metro-2B (DN Nagar to Mankhurd) and Metro-7 (Dahisar East to Andheri East).

The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), which is implementing the city’s first fully underground metro line, Metro-3 (Colaba-Bandra-Seepz), is also planning to include the feature in the rakes.

All the lines are to be commissioned between 2019-2021 in the city. Both authorities are exercising caution when it comes to plying driverless trains. Officials from MMRDA said there will be pilots to run the train for three years after which the trains are likely to be plied without drivers. “Until the process is streamlined, there will be a pilot running the trains. We have an option to go driverless but that will be executed later and not during commissioning,” said a senior official from MMRDA, who did not wish to be quoted.

Officials also said that people will be apprehensive to hop on driverless trains in the initial phase itself.

While MMRC did not want to comment on the issue, it had earlier said operators will be employed during commissioning. Similarly, every station will also have drivers stationed in case of an emergency.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 10:38 IST