BYD celebrated a new milestone, with its SkyRail Bahia vehicle leaving the production line in Shenzhen, China. SkyRail Bahia, located in the city of Salvador, is the world’s first SkyRail line partially built above the sea. An advanced, high-speed, high-capacity monorail system similar to the one proposed to ease Los Angeles traffic congestion, hit a major milestone when the first Bahia SkyRail vehicle rolled off the BYD production line.
The SkyRail vehicle, with its autonomous driving technology and futuristic design, will be sent to Salvador, Brazil where it will operate on a 14.5-mile line linking the city’s central business district to São João Island. The commemoration ceremony was held at BYD’s global head office in Shenzhen. Rui Costa, Governor of Bahia; João Leão, Deputy Governor of Bahia; and Ms. Shao Yingjun, Minister for Trade Affairs at the Chinese Embassy, attended the ceremony via internet transmission.
Satisfied with the performance of the new model, Governor Rui Costa insisted that the VLT of the Suburb symbolizes an important international partnership for the modernization of urban transport. “After placing Bahia as the second largest subway in Brazil, we now take a big step in modernization, with this modern vehicle that will replace a train that no longer meets the operating conditions,” commented Rui Costa.
João Leão, Deputy Governor of Bahia, also recognized BYD’s role in the project, expressing sincere gratitude to the company.
Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD Company Limited and President of BYD Motors Inc., said, “The vehicles are specially adapted to Salvador’s unique geographic and cultural environment. The smooth and comfortable route, the humanized and intelligent design will bring passengers a more enjoyable and convenient ecological travel experience. Brazil has adopted BYD’s zero-emission and eco-friendly transportation offerings in all sectors, including buses, trucks, cars and 100% electric SkyRail, making the country the model of green transportation in Latin America. BYD will continue to work hard with its new energy technology and high-quality rail transit offerings to help cities around the world embrace low-carbon transport and achieve sustainable development!”
SkyRail Bahia has been specially customized to meet local regulations and needs, such as the world’s first SkyRail line built for the international market. The vehicle adopts an aerodynamic design, which reduces wind resistance while improving overall aesthetics. Meanwhile, large, barrier-free doors allow passengers to get in and out easily, regardless of whether they’re walking, in a wheelchair or pushing a stroller. The vehicles feature a design that provides excellent accessibility and the large windows on both sides offer ample views for a pleasant traffic experience, while the air suspension system ensures that the vehicle runs quietly and smoothly.
In addition, SkyRail is equipped with a fully automatic operating system with state-of-the-art control technology and an intelligent customer service system with a high degree of automation. It allows for more precise control of operations, resulting in increased reliability, safety, operational efficiency and punctuality. Meanwhile, the emergency intercom and other onboard systems cater to passengers in real time, ensuring a safe and convenient riding experience. Vehicles can also be grouped flexibly according to actual capacity requirements.
The SkyRail Bahia Line has 25 stations, covering a total length of 23.3 km. It will be connected to the existing subway in Bahia to form a wide public transport network.
Due to several factors, such as local topography, community structure, demolition costs and passenger volume, Bahia SkyRail has been customized to meet several extremely strict technical standards.
SkyRail is a monorail system developed by a team of 1,000 people after five years of research and development worth RMB 5 billion, which aims to address traffic congestion in cities. With a minimum turning radius of 45 meters and able to climb 10% gradients, the SkyRail is well adapted to salvador’s difficult terrain. What’s more, advanced autonomous driving technology, along with an attractive, futuristic look, allows SkyRail to fit perfectly into modern urban environments.
SkyRail’s unique technologies have overcome many of the construction and operation difficulties in Bahia. For example, elevated rails do not occupy the surface of the streets, which means that the space below them can still be rebuilt in pedestrian areas, and their elevated position keeps them flood-free, which has been a problem for the city’s existing rail network. Thanks to the integrated line monitoring system and intelligent operations system, SkyRail can immediately identify risks, solve problems and reduce manual workloads. In addition to providing comfortable, low-carbon and efficient public transport for residents, SkyRail is expected to also help attract new businesses and visitors to the area, helping government efforts to boost local tourism.
SkyRail has already created a buzz among local citizens. On February 13, 2019, on the day of the signing of the contract, a large number of citizens erected a banner at the gate of the government of Bahia, which read “Very welcome VLT! Thank you, Governor!” And he shouted, “let’s make it come true together.” Tyler Li, President of BYD Brazil, also said that when the SkyRail project team went to the site to inspect the progress of the project after half a year, the public recognized them and greeted them cordially.
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