French State Railway Company (SNCF) on Wednesday said that it was planning to introduce driverless trains on the country’s tracks by 2023.
The initial goal is to have an autonomous train prototype ready in five years for use on slower regional and freight journeys.
“By 2025 SNCF hopes to have self-driving trains on regular routes.
“This is clearly the future of trains,’’ SNCF Chief, Guillaume Pepy, said in Paris on Wednesday.
Pepy said it was investing 57 million euros (66 million dollars) to develop a prototype train that could be used on France’s existing rail network, parts of which stretch back a century.
Driverless trains will expand the country’s rail capacity and increase punctuality, SNCF said.