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Sci-tech Drives Next Level Transport Sector

Source: 科技日报 | 2023-03-23 09:51:03 | Author: 王晓夏

A bullet train is travelling on the Guanting Reservoir Bridge of Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway in north China. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

China has impressed the world with its rapidly expanding transport sector, known for the super huge networks of highways, railways and ports, and the high interconnectivity has brought considerable economic opportunities.

In recent years, the country has placed greater emphasis on high-quality development instead of merely speed or scale, and transportation is no exception. With advanced technologies, China is improving the quality and efficiency of its transport system and providing safe, convenient, green and economical services.

Smarter construction

Beijing -Zhangjiakou Railway, the first railway designed and built solely by Chinese engineers and workers, opened in 1909, encouraging Chinese people to insist on the self-development of railways.

In December 2019, 110 years after the launch of the old railway, the Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway began operation. It is China's first intelligent railway, where bullet trains can auto-pilot at a speed of 350 km/h, utilizing China's homegrown satellite navigation system.

The Beijing-Zhangjiakou high-speed railway has realized the integration of intelligent construction, intelligent equipment and intelligent operation, pioneering intelligent railways in the world, said Li Hongxia, a senior engineer from China Railway Group.

During the construction process of Qinghuayuan tunnel along the railway, the shield machine was equipped with sensors, which can update the in-tunnel geological conditions in real time, suggesting tunneling parameters accordingly.

Over the past five years (2018-2022), China's infrastructure construction and equipment manufacturing technologies have improved significantly. The country has built the world's largest high-speed rail network, the world's largest highway network and a world-class port cluster, said Li Xiaopeng, minister of transport.

Low-carbon operation

In the past five years, with the wide application of new technologies, the transport industry has been developing in the direction of green and low carbon.

Beijing Daxing International Airport, which opened on July 1, 2021, has worked hard to be more efficient and greener in energy use.

In the airport, the ground source heat pump system that uses shallow geothermal energy for heating and cooling buildings, can save 18,100 tons of standard coal per year. Meanwhile the photovoltaic system can provide six million kWh of green electricity to the grid each year, which is equivalent to reducing 966 tons of carbon dioxide. For the first time, a global hub airport achieved 100 percent new energy vehicles.

Green technologies are emerging across China's transport sector. On February 23, a 1,400 -square -meter smart skylight was installed at China's first cross-sea high-speed rail station, Xiamen North Railway Station.

It is the world's largest side -hung modular inductive sliding smart skylight. Covered with sensors, the skylight can automatically open, close and adjust its angle according to the weather.

The smart skylight is expected to decrease the usage of the ventilation system by about 40 days per year, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 14.13 tons.

Application of smart tools

On February 1, five 17-meter-long heavy trucks were seen traveling at a speed of nearly 80 km/h on the Donghai Bridge near Shanghai's Yangshan Port. This is a common scene on the bridge, but a careful look will see that the five heavy trucks are only about 20 meters apart from each other, and the three trucks in the middle are driverless.

This is part of Yangshan Port's promotion of its intelligent operation of heavy trucks, and the test has entered the "real unmanned" stage, said Zhang Xianhong, engineer for the intelligent heavy truck project at the port.

The 72-km distance between Donghai Bridge and Yangshan Port consists of highway, tunnels and wharves, making it the longest commercial operation scenario of autonomous driving in the world. By the end of 2023, it is planned to launch no less than 60 self-driving heavy trucks, with a cumulative container collection and distribution capacity of 300,000 TEUs.

Apart from unmanned trunks, Yangshan Port has launched a series of technologies to build an intelligent green transport system at the large container port.

The intelligent heavy truck project was among the first 18 pilot projects for intelligent transportation approved in September 2022 by the Ministry of Transport. So far, the pilot projects are making progress and strongly promote research and development of key technologies and the innovation of operational modes.

In the next phase, pilot projects will strengthen communication, and form a comprehensive scenario-oriented solution for future transportation, according to the Ministry of Transport.

Editor: 王晓夏

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