KUCHING, Nov 1 — Sarawak Metro Sdn Bhd, the operator of the hydrogen-powered Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) has gathered the necessary data for the prototype zero-emission vehicle after two months of engineering run.

Sarawak Metro said the focus of the engineering run, which was conducted at the Isthmus in September and October, was to gather technical data with emphasis on the ART vehicle’s movement guidance system and the hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system.

“The data will serve as an essential input for the ongoing design phase of the ART vehicle before it enters into the mass production stage,” the company said in a statement.

It said the engineering run, which was launched by Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg on September 6, covered more than 5,400km.

It added the engineering run will continue until early this month before proceeding with Stage 2 of the proof-of-concept (POC) exercise.

Sarawak Metro said more than 80 groups from both federal and state government agencies and various stakeholders from the private sector and non-governmental organisations were given the opportunity to take a test ride on the prototype ART vehicle.

It said State 2 of the engineering run will be conducted on a three-kilometre stretch of the dedicated lane built along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

“This stretch will form a section of what will become the permanent ART dedicated double lane built for the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project’s Blue Line,” Sarawak Metro said.

Sarawak Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin visited the construction site of the ART dedicated lane, to get the latest updates on the work progress as well as preparations for the POC exercise later this month.

Briefing the minister were chief executive officer of Sarawak Metro Mazli Mustaffa and representatives from the state Public Works Department (JKR) as well as the contractor.

As of the end of last month, the physical progress of the infrastructure works of the POC site is approximately 78 per cent completed.

Sarawak Metro said the dedicated lane will be substantially completed by mid-November, after which preparations for the POC exercise site will begin with the road marking works and calibration works for the ART.

The ART is the backbone of the KUTS project, which aims to modernise public transportation and ease traffic congestion in Greater Kuching.