UITP launches website on metro automation

Posted: 23 April 2013 | UITP | No comments yet

The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) launched the website of the Observatory of Automated Metros…

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The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) today launched the website of the Observatory of Automated Metros ( The website is the reference point for driverless metro covering technical and organisational issues and offering an up-to-date interactive world map of automated lines.

Metro operation without drivers or staff on board, referred to as unattended train operation (UTO), has become a widespread and accepted solution. Today, over 40 lines around the world are automated, and the expansion in the coming years is expected to be five times faster than in the last decade.

Automated lines represent the state of the art in metro technology and provide a glimpse of the future for metro networks. Automation offers improved quality, service and safety and so is attractive for authorities and operators planning new lines, but also for the sector as a whole, thanks to the possibility of converting existing lines. To make the most of the possible advantages requires not only thinking about technical aspects, but also rethinking the organisation of the metro system as a whole.

In this context, the Observatory of Automated Metros, a UITP body set up in 2007 to monitor, study and share the most up-to-date knowledge on metro automation, has launched an information-rich website:

“The new website aims to provide information on metro automation, both for professionals and non professionals. It draws on knowledge from its members, who represent a wide range of experience and technological solutions and come from different geographical areas, as well as from monitoring developments in the sector,” says Ramon Malla, the Chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and Director of Automated Lines at TMB, Barcelona.

Interactive world map and latest news

UITP MAPOne of the main features of the website is an interactive map providing information on all automated metro lines in the world. This map will be updated regularly and is to be a resource for all those interested in metro automation.

The Observatory is formed by the main UITP references from Automated Lines around the globe

There are currently more than 600km of automated metro lines in operation, with the first fully automated lines dating from 1981. The website also includes a news section that provides a one-stop shop for automation milestones around the world, including extensions, new lines and conversions of existing lines.

“The website will pay special attention to conversions of existing lines. Following the first two successful conversions of lines in Nuremberg and in Paris, the automation of existing lines offers opportunities for upgrading networks,” says Gérald Churchill, a member of the Observatory and Director of automation operations for RATP Line 1 in Paris.

Publications and Seminars

The Observatory’s Annual World Report, available on the website, provides a picture of developments and trends, including key aspects such as train capacity, platform screen doors, power supply, etc.

The website will also act as an “information hub”, offering a sample of the Observatory’s work, and access to a limited selection of the approximately 200 documents relating to metro automation available in the UITP Documentation Centre.

The Observatory organises an annual Open Seminar for public transport professionals. Its 3rd edition, held in Paris in 2012, attracted over 150 participants. The 4th edition of the Automated Metro Seminar will be held from 6-7 September 2013 in London. More information will be available on the website soon.