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Autonomous high-speed trains expected to operate in France by 2023
Last Updated: 2017-06-19 08:40 | Xinhua
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France's national state-owned railway operator announced on Friday that it's developing autonomous trains that will operate along its high-speed TGV lines by 2023.

The train operator SNCF believes that it can run 25 percent more trains between Paris and Lyon using this technology, and cut the time between trains from 180 seconds to 108 seconds, the FranceInfo reported.

The driverless train would be equipped with external sensors that would allow it to detect obstacles on the tracks and automatically brake when necessary.

Considering the "open environment" of such operations, conductors will continue to ride along for a while after the system is initiated, just in case of emergencies or unexpected events. This is an apparent difference from Paris' automated subways, which don't require such security measures, U.S. technology website Engadget noted.

The SNCF expects the service to begin in six years, and initial trials of the so-called "drone trains" should begin in 2019.

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