Delhi Metro trains collide in autopilot trial

DELHI: Delhi Metro’s experiment with its new driverless trains hit a roadblock on Friday with two trains colliding at the Kalindi Kunj depot at 3.45pm on Friday.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials blamed Hyundai Rotem – the company manufacturing and delivering the trains – for the incident, which occurred while the new trains were being commissioned for trials, reports The Times of India.

Testing of trains on the Janakpuri (west) to Botanical Garden section – between Okhla and Botanical Garden – had started some months ago. The trains collided sideways, resulting in substantial damage on the bodies of the coaches.

Moreover, the incident cast doubt over the safety of driverless trains, which the Delhi Metro would be deploying for the first time in two new corridors of phase III – line 7 and 8.

Anuj Dayal, DMRC spokesman, however, tried to allay fears and said that the trains had not been fitted with all systems yet. “This was not an incident of direct head-on collision. Instead, it was a case of one train being hit from the side when another train (which wasn’t commissioned) was reversed from the rear coach by Hyundai Rotem’s staff, who had no direct view of the front. The speed of the train was 2-3 kmh minimising the impact,” he said.


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