Cover A Fuxing high speed train operated by China Railway Corporation seen at the Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Complete at a cost of 58.4 billion yuan, the world’s first “smart” bullet train is equipped with 5G signals, wireless chargers and intelligent lighting

Home to the world's largest high-speed railway network, China shows no signs of stopping in 2020—the country has just unveiled the Jing-Zhang high-speed railway, which connects three cities that will host the 2022 Winter Olympics: Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.

Measured at 174 kilometres with 10 stops, the railway took four years to build, complete with bullet trains that can travel up to 350 kilometres per hour—without a driver. Currently only six of the 30 bullet trains, named “Fuxing”, running between Beijing and Zhangjiakou are “smart”, which are operated automatically with a monitoring driver to handle emergency.

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The self-driving bullet train, which began operations on December 30, 2019, made history as the world’s first “smart” high-speed railway, which features carriages with 5G signals, wireless charging docks and intelligent lighting. The interior design has taken the needs of athletes into consideration, with ample storage areas for winter sports gear, a high-tech “2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Express” that broadcasts the games live, as well as removable seats for athletes and passengers travelling with wheelchairs during the 2022 Winter Paralympics. 

At the station, AI-powered robots will help passengers with directions, luggage and facial recognition check-ins. 

When the Beijing-Zhangjiakou railway first opened in 1909, the entire route took eight hours of travelling time. Since then, China’s fast-growing high-speed rail network has reached groundbreaking milestones, including the fastest commercially operating train, the Shanghai Maglev, which travels up to 600 kilometres per hour. 

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