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Driverless Tube trains coming to London from 2022

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A new dawn for the Tube?

Transport for London (TfL) has revealed its future plans for the Tube, and they include driverless trains, more air-conditioning, and onboard Wi-Fi.

The trains will be "designed and built to be capable of fully automatic operation", according to TfL. They will have an operator onboard at first, and would only become fully automated following "extensive engagement with our customers, stakeholders, staff and trade unions".

In other words, there's a lot of talking to be done before the trains drive themselves.

The trains are expected to increase capacity by up to 60 per cent on some lines (that's up to 19,000 more customers per hour) thanks to walk-through carriages. They feature air-cooled carriages as part of a more energy-efficient system to manage tunnel temperatures.

They will start rolling out in 2022 on the Piccadilly line, and will also come to the Central, Bakerloo and Waterloo & City lines. The rollout should be complete by the mid-2020s, with the trains expected to last for at least 40 years.

The trains feature a new look, as you can see, created by design consultancy Priestmangoode. They will also do away with paper advertising onboard in favour of dynamic digital screens that update with line statuses and real-time travel alerts. And adverts, of course.

Double doors will be standard – so no more single doors – and TfL will introduce platform edge doors (as seen on parts of the Jubilee line) where possible. These will decrease the chance of anyone falling onto the tracks, and stop litter or any other objects obstructing the trains.

Last month, the Tube gained contactless payments, letting you pay for your journey using your contactless cash card.

Read more: London Tube strike: Apps to help you get around town

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