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Rail and Metro Innovation Guide 2018www.SmartRailWorld.com55SECTION 9: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AND CONSULTANCIESThere are now 53 fully automated lines around the world in 36 cities operating a total of 789km, a 17% increase in km when compared to 2014. Asia is the world's leading automation region with 42% of km of infrastructure, followed by Europe (34%) and North America (13%) a new report has found. In the last decade, Latin America and the Middle East have developed automated lines with the latter showing strong growth and Dubai an excellent example of an automated system. Report shows "exponential" global growth for automated metros; set to quadruple in the coming decade.Editorial credit: / Shutterstock.comHalf of the world's fully automated metro systems are found in just four countries: France, South Korea, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. At the city level, the ranking is led by three non-European cities: Singapore (82km), Dubai (80km) and Vancouver (68km).Automated metros are enjoying exponential global growth and infrastructure length has increased by 17% since 2014 according to a new study, World Report on Automation, released by UITP (the International Association of Public Transport, @UITPnews)In the 40 years since the first automated lines, the growth rate has doubled each decade and is set to quadruple in the coming decade: by 2025, there will be an estimated 2,200km of automated metro infrastructure in operation.In 2025, Asia, Europe and the Middle East (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia pictured above) will represent 32%, 31% and 24% respectively of total automated infrastructure. China announced the opening of its first fully automated line for the end of 2017 – a significant move that could mean even higher growth if China embraces automation for its many growing systems.CBTC has consolidated as the preferred signalling solution for fully automated metro lines. Currently, 67% of the world's automated metro lines are operated using CBTC systems and even more significantly, close to three quarters of the new fully automated metro infrastructure built in the last decade was equipped with CBTC"Full automation offers a step change opportunity for metro systems and for more sustainable urban mobility," said Ramón Malla, Chairman of the UITP Observatory of Automated Metros and Director of Automated Metro at TMB Barcelona. "The current exponential growth trend confirms that authorities and operators around the world are increasingly ready to take the leap towards this new reference point in metro service and operations". Read the fascinating full report from UITP by clicking here