While millions of London commuters struggled into work because of a drivers strike on the London Tube network, it was business as usual on one line at least. The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is Britain's only driverless metro, but with more walk-outs in the capital threatened, the appeal of such systems could grow on passengers.
Europe's first driverless metro was opened in the northern French town of Lille in 1983 and expanded a decade later. Today, automatically operated commuter train systems are dotted around the world, from Copenhagen to Kuala Lumper; Paris to Taipei.
In New York, engineers have been busy converting the subway's L-line to driverless operation. The service will begin operating in "shadow" mode in October, with train operators still in full control. If all goes to plan then by next spring the trains will be driving themselves.
However, drivers will continue to ride the trains to allay passenger fears and step into the breach if things go wrong.
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