Beijing will open its first subway line with self-driving trains this year, local authorities said Friday. The facility is the first fully domestically developed automated subway line on the Chinese mainland, said a spokesperson with the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The 16.6-km Yanfang Line, which is being debugged, will improve convenience of transportation for residents living in the city’s southwestern suburb of Fangshan, the spokesperson said.
In addition, construction is expected to be completed in 2017 on two new rail lines, the city’s first modern tram line and first medium-low speed maglev line. Currently Beijing has 19 lines covering 574 kilometers in operation. Twenty subway lines or sections, spanning over 350 kilometers, will be built this year.