Looks like driverless trains are not that SMART after all…

So it was reported that SBS Transit has started manning every North-East Line (NEL) train since last October. According to the SBS Transit spokesman, the NEL was initially manned during peak hours and on every other train, but they have since reviewed the arrangement, and will have “warm bodies” on every train throughout operational hours.

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They said having drivers on driverless trains are not only meant to give assurance to commuters, but also operational contingency. And having trained staff on the trains will allow for quicker service recovery. In other words, if the trains breakdown again *choy*, at least the delay will not be so jialat lah.

And SMRT is also doing the same for the Circle Line, which also runs on driverless MRT system like the NEL.

This is really 1 x lame leh. We spent so much money to buy “driverless” MRT trains so that we can hire more drivers to man the driverless cars? Well, it said that having a driver on the trains will help in executing a push-out. Simi is push out?

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Well, apparently, it means using one train to push a disabled one out of the way, and this can be done immediately, unlike in a driverless system, you need to factor in extra time for the driver to run to the unmanned train to push the other one out. Got it?

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Actually in short, having an MRT staff on these driverless trains will help to facilitate technical remedies within a shorter turnaround and increase reliability. Means you don’t need to wait so long if the train breakdowns again lor. *choy*

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Seems like our move towards a SMART Nation is not that easy after all. While we embrace new technology which can help us resolve the problem of labour shortage, shouldn’t we be conscious or confident of the reliability of these “automated” technology before applying? It seems that we cannot do without the basics completely, and the feasibility and reliability of “driverless cars” and “contactless payments” should go through rigorous testing so they don’t screw up like our trains.

Let’s work smart lah. Don’t take one big step forward and end up taking two steps back k?


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