JR East has announced that the Joban Line will use ATO (Automatic Train Operation) from Ayase to Tote.
With ATO, speeds are automatically controlled within the speed limit, and trains also automatically stop at the stations. ATO is not meant to replace the JR East drivers, who can manually operate the trains in order to reduce risks and problems.
While ATO has been introduced in many countries, this is the first time that JR East uses ATO in one of their trains. However, this is not the first time that ATO is seen in Japan. In fact, Tokyo Metro uses the device on their routes.
After being introduced on the Joban Line, JR East will considering using ATO on other routes as well.