A driverless train. (Wikimedia Commons)
A driverless train. (Wikimedia Commons)

India To Soon Get Driverless Trains Based On Indigenous Train Control Technology

ByV Bhagya Subhashini

The system will allow unmanned operation of metro and trains, making a significant advancement in the field of automation. 

India will shortly see a major shift away from conventional railway signalling systems and toward indigenous communication-based train control systems (i-CBTC).

Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (DMRC) have agreed to collaborate on the development of i-CBTC, which will facilitate unmanned train operations. 

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is overseeing the project. The goal is to make use of the complementary skills and strengths of BEL and DMRC.

i-CBTC is being developed in India for the first time. It is a cutting-edge communication-based system that transmits precise and timely train control information via radio communication. 

The system will allow unmanned operation of metro and trains, making a significant advancement in the field of automation.

The telecommunications between train and track equipment are used by the modern communication-based system to regulate traffic and control infrastructure. 

It is more effective than conventional signalling systems at tracking train's exact location. As a result, managing railroad traffic is made safer and more effective.

The traditional method of railroad signalling relies on coloured light signals and axle counters and track circuits to detect trains. Although this technology is appropriate for train detection and control, it is still unable to fully utilise the section capacity. 

"It is a major step towards the development of an indigenously built signalling system in India and a big step towards achieving self-reliance in Metro Signalling & Train Control Systems. This will facilitate and foster innovation, enhance local skill, reduce deployment cost of Metros and lead to evolution of expertise within the country in the field of train control signalling systems," DMRC said in a communique, as per Economic Times report.

Over a hundred i-CBTC systems have been installed globally, making it the preferred option for mass-transit railway operators. The technology is being used in metros in India as well.