The growth rate of automated metros around the world will quadruple over the next decade, with the total length of lines reaching 2,200 kilometres by 2025, according to new figures published by UITP.
Statistics released this week have shown that the infrastructure length of automated metros internationally has increased by 17 per cent since 2014.
There are currently 53 automated lines in 36 cities around the world, totalling 789 kilometres.
Asia leads the way, with 42 per cent of these track kilometres, followed by Europe (34 per cent) and North America (13 per cent).
France, the United Arab Emirates, South Korea and Singapore own half of the world’s automated metro infrastructure, but the landscape is expected to change in the coming years.
Latin America and the Middle East have both begun to develop automated networks over the past 10 years. To put it in perspective, when the Riyadh Metro network opens in 2019 it will more than double the length of Singapore’s automated network – the city which currently operates the most driverless routes.
Reflecting on the findings, Ramón Malla, chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and director of automated metro at TMB Barcelona, said: “Full automation offers a step change opportunity for metro systems and for more sustainable urban mobility.
“The current exponential growth trend confirms that authorities and operators around the world are increasingly ready to take the leap towards this new reference point in metro service and operations.”
Correction: The growth rate of automated metros is predicted to quadruple over the next decade not the total length of lines as previously stated. The total length is expected to almost triple from 789 kilometres to 2,200.