How do trains fare when they are driven by humans?
A series of experiments, published in the journal Nature, suggests the answer might be in the form of better fuel efficiency, better efficiency of braking and traction, better braking efficiency and less of a need for maintenance.
A train travelling at a speed of 5km/h will travel at a maximum speed of 60km/hr (37mph).
But in the next 10 years, the number of vehicles on the tracks will increase by one-third, to 300,000.
More trains could make for a safer journey by reducing collisions, according to a new study, and more people could take part in transport in future.
“It’s the biggest, most complex transport problem in the world,” says Peter Cawley, a research fellow at the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of Reading.
For more on trains, see the FT’s new special edition.