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New smart trains brake for sleepy drivers

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Los Angeles to use a “positive train control” system

Trains travel at ever-increasing speeds, and occasional rail accidents continue to happen. Now a new kind of train may provide the answer. It can automatically brake to avoid a crash or collision even if the driver or engineer falls asleep or gets distracted.

A $216.3 million upgrade to the Los Angeles Metrolink means it will be the first to use a “positive train control” (PTC) system, to be installed by 2015. The train speed is tracked by GPS and the trains are told how fast to go.

If the train goes too fast, the engineer gets a warning. If he doesn’t react, the train’s computer hits the brakes.

NBC

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