China rolls out autonomous tram
The first unmanned mining tram in China rolled off the assembly line of the Hunan Xiangtan Hauling Machine Plant on Dec. 12. Huang Guoxing, chief engineer with Hunan Xiangtan Hauling Machine Plant where the locomotive was made told the Xinhua news agency that the tram’s transmission system features intelligent control t
Other advanced technologies integrated in the train include computer control, wireless communication and control area network — a method for enabling robust serial communication in industrial automation and automotive applications.
Jointly designed by the Hunan Xiangtan Hauling Machine Plant and China Enfi Engineering Corp., it will first be put into use in a copper mine in east China's Anhui province, Huang said claiming that the tram would reduce energy costs by 30 percent in comparison with traditional locomotives.
Also, the risks of human casualty are eliminated as no drivers are needed for the tram during mining activities. With a hauling capacity of 18 t (20 st), the tram is capable of self-diagnosis when it breaks down and relaying messages to a control center for further handling.