JR Kyushu is set to introduce autonomous train operation on the Kashii Line in Fukuoka Prefecture from March next year. This initiative, the first of its kind within the JR Group, will allow staff without a driver’s license to operate trains. Announced by President Youji Furumiya, this development follows three years of testing autonomous driving on the entire Kashii Line, which connects Saitozaki in Higashi-ku, Fukuoka City, and Umi in Umi Town. The decision was made after confirming the safety of these operations. Staff will be present on board to manage emergency situations and assist passengers, despite not needing a driver’s license.
This move by JR Kyushu is a response to the expected challenges in recruiting drivers due to population decline, aiming to alleviate labor shortages and reduce the resources needed for personnel training. President Furumiya emphasized the necessity for railways to adopt new technologies in the face of decreasing passenger numbers, viewing this advancement as a crucial step in adapting to changing times. Source: JR Kyushu / NHK
Photo from Rsa
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