France, a country known for its strikes against companies such as Uber, will likely see more upheaval in a few years once the state-owned railway company SNCF begins running autonomous high-speed trains in 2023, just six years from now.
SNCF announced that the so-called “drone trains” would begin trials in 2019. By using this technology, the company says that it can increase speed and efficiency. Providing the company meets its targets, it believes it’ll be the first company in the world to run automated high-speed trains.
SNCF says it expects there to be 25 percent more trains running between Paris and Lyon, additionally, the time between trains would be reduced by 72 seconds, from 180 seconds to 108 seconds. It’s not all bad news for employees of the company, though. While the trains will be equipped with sensors to detect obstacles on the tracks, conductors will continue to be present on trains in case of emergencies or unforeseen events.
French workers will likely not take the expected cuts in jobs lightly, taxi drivers, for example, strongly protested against ride-hailing firm - Uber being allowed to operate in the country, this resulted in a ban for the company’s low-cost UberPOP service in the country.