Thales will design the CBTC system for installation on the Joban suburban line in Tokyo which links Ayase with Toride. The 30km line, which has 14 stations, is operated by a fleet of 70 trains. The line currently has a conventional automatic train control system.
The main objective is to improve reliability and reduce costs by eliminating track circuits and reducing the amount of cabling while enabling bi-directional operation. JR East said when it announced the competition in February 2013 that it wants to "drastically change and improve" its Tokyo suburban network through "innovations that incorporate a conceptual breakthrough and are completely free from conventional ways of thinking."