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EghtesadOnline: China, never the one to be left behind in technology trends, has unveiled a new tram which runs on ‘virtual tracks’ called Autonomous Rail Transit (ART).

The new hybrid tram/bus uses white painted road markings, assisted by a driver on specially designated lanes.

The hybrid system is semi-autonomous and “is a bus, tram and train rolled into one,” Chinese blog Shanghaist reported on Sunday.

China’s rail transit firm CRRC began developing the ART in 2013 as a way to ease terrible congestion in China’s crowded urban centers. It is cleaner than metros and trams as well, Financial Tribune reported.

The battery-powered ART is capable of accommodating 307 passengers across three carriages and hitting speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour, the designers say.

CRRC is currently working on setting up a 6.5 kilometer track in Zhuzhou and hopes to have the ART operational by next year.

Also, the ART does not need installation of the traditional tram system which runs into millions of dollars.

The Chinese firm is no stranger to Iran, as it is the main provider of the country’s metro carriages in Tehran and other major cities across the country.

It is too early to say whether the ART will be implemented in Iran, but seeing the close relationship between the CRRC and Tehran Municipality, it could arrive in the not too distant future.

Tehran’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system straddles some of the biggest and busiest thoroughfares through the overcrowded capital that is home to more than 12 million people.

The major difference between the new Chinese system and BRT is that the former is a hybrid semi-autonomous system.

Art Trackless Tram China Trackless Tram virtual tracks Autonomous Rail Transit