JR Tokai Eyes Automated Shinkansen Operations by ’28

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Shinkansen N700S series train

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) plans to introduce an automated operation system for its Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train services around 2028, company President Shin Kaneko has said.

A driver will be on board for operations such as starting the train, according to Kaneko, who was speaking at a press conference Friday to announce the plan. The system will be adopted for the newest N700S series Shinkansen model, with Nozomi, Hikari and Kodama trains subject to automated operations.

A train using the system will start moving when the driver presses a button. While operations such as emergency stop will be conducted by the driver, the train will adjust its speed and stop at stations automatically.

JR Tokai has been conducting test runs of Tokaido Shinkansen trains equipped with the automated operation system since November 2021.

Tokyo Metro Co. separately said Friday that it will start tests of an automated train operation system on its Marunouchi Line in fiscal 2025. A conductor will be on board the front car in place of the driver, according to the subway operator.