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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on October 14th, 2016 | by James Ayre


BYD Unveils SkyRail Test Track In Shenzhen, China

October 14th, 2016 by  

One of the top electric bus firms in the world, and also the company currently seeing the highest number of plug-in cars, BYD, has revealed its new SkyRail (monorail) system in Shenzhen, China. The system is being used at the company’s headquarters there.


The reveal included the showcasing of a new, elevated SkyRail test track at the location. The firm’s plan is to sell the technology/system to cities that don’t have the financial resources to build an extensive subway system, but that are dealing with congestion and traffic problems.

The SkyRail system will reportedly be sold throughout the world, not just in China. As it stands, China is home to just two monorail lines — both located in the city of Chongqing, and both of featuring carriages supplied by the Japan-based firm Hitachi.


“Mass transit systems are an indispensable solution to alleviate traffic congestion in cities,” stated BYD president and chairman Wang Chuanfu at the launch event. “As a rail transport option with relatively smaller passenger capacity, SkyRail can complement existing public transport systems to create a layered transport system encompassing underground, roadway, and elevated elements.”

Tech In Asia provides more: “The SkyRail unveiling is the culmination of a five-year project worth nearly US$750 million. … Like the Tokyo Monorail that goes runs from Haneda airport, the SkyRail has a top speed of 80 kph (kilometers per hour). … The SkyRail could be a safer option than the bizarre, untested, and possibly, maybe, who-knows-for-sure, bankrupt, traffic-straddling bus that another Chinese company is hoping to sell to cities.”

No argument there, the concept bus mentioned above will likely never see the light of day so long as proven, relatively cheap options such as monorail are available.

The fact that a firm with as much of a name behind it as BYD is pursuing the monorail approach makes it seem likely that there will be a boom in the use of the technology in China over the coming years, and possibly elsewhere as well.

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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