A state of the ‘ART’ mode of transportation begins its pilot programme

THE Automated Rapid Transit (ART) system has made a powerful impact in the country’s green urban transportation scene, being a mode of transport that demonstrates the use of green technology to propel Malaysia’s public transport modernisation strategy.

Developed by Mobilus Sdn Bhd, ART is one of the test lines of Iskandar Malaysia Bus Rapid Transit’s (IMBRT) pilot programme to test the vehicle’s capabilities.

Marking the first trial of the ART in Southeast Asia, its distinctive feature as a hybrid between an electric bus and a trackless tram sparked an impressive amount of public interest.

Utilising the leading edge technology developed by the world’s largest manufacturer of rolling stock and rail related products and systems CRRC Group, ART allows for a high capacity of passengers (expandable up to 500 passengers in five carriages), at a lower cost of implementation.

It operates on clean energy sources such as electricity or hydrogen, equipped with sensors that is able to read the virtual tracks on the road, enabling it to automatically navigate its own route without the need of physical rail tracks, traveling up to 70km per hour.

The three-month pilot testing programme, which has already begun, is hosted by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), focusing on testing its virtual-tracking capabilities, integration of passenger information systems.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the support by the IRDA, the Ministry of Transport and its various agencies, demonstrating the willingness and proactiveness to adopt new, transformative technologies,” said Mobilus CEO Chan Chee Kian.

The pilot programme will be evaluated by the Malaysia Institute of Transport (MITRANS), determining whether or not ART will be suitable to be applied throughout the country.

Aside from the ART, Mobilus is also focusing on introducing electric buses solutions, hydrogen fuel-cell powered ART and green-energy logistics solutions to various stakeholders in Malaysia and South East Asia.

A work of ART

The introduction of ART is part of Mobilus’ long-term strategy of focusing on solutions to improve mobility of people in cities and the suburban areas, where connectivity is often hampered by the urban sprawl.

Owing to its cost efficiency and adaptability, the ART system is particularly effective as a back-bone urban transit solution for cities with a population approximating one to five million people.

In larger cities, ART also works well as a secondary urban transit system supporting light-rail or mass transit systems, providing first and last mile connectivity in suburban areas or busy city centres. 

To date, The ART is being rapidly adopted in various cities across China, with one significant city being Yibin City, Sichuan Province, a city with more than 4.5 million people.

The first of seven lines for the city was officially launched in December 2019 and runs for 17.7 km through the central business district and also connects to Yibin’s high-speed railway terminus.

It has been reported that more than 25,000 daily commuters are using the line in its first year of implementation, and traffic congestion in the city has reduced by 20% since the opening of the ART T1 Line. – April 12, 2021

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