Automatic train run test conducted on Tokyo's Yamanote loop line
Kyodo -- Jan 08
Japan is stepping up efforts to expand automatic train operations to cope with a possible shortage of drivers amid its declining population, with East Japan Railway Co. conducting its latest self-driving test on Tokyo's Yamanote loop line on Monday.

In a trial run unveiled to the media for the first time, an 11-car train circled the 34.5-kilometer loop line twice -- the first without any delay, and the second requiring some adjustments by the driver because the train could not stop at the designated point.

"We are basically doing fine. We'll analyze the result and seek to put the technology in practice as soon as possible," Yuichiro Tokunaga, a JR East official in charge of the issue, said, referring to the third such self-driving test in recent weeks on the Yamanote Line, one of the busiest commuter lines in the metropolitan area.

For Monday's test, JR East used the Yamanote Line's latest E235 series train, equipped with an automatic operation device being developed by the company.

東京のJR山手線で運転士が加速や減速などの操作を行わなくても自動で列車を運転できる装置の試験が始まりました。 ATOと呼ばれる自動列車運転装置の試験は7日未明、終電後の山手線で行われました。
News sources: Kyodo, ANNnewsCH
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