China’s Transit Elevated Bus (TEB-1) has gone through its first test ride in the northeastern city of Qinhuangdao, in the Hebei province yesterday.
The bus, which can carry up to 300 passengers, is over 72ft long, 25ft wide and about 16ft tall with around 7ft of space underneath for cars to travel through and rides along tracks embedded in the street.
The bus was first unveiled in 2010, and displayed at Beijing’s 19th International High-Tech Expo last May.
The Verge reported Protoypes are being constructed, according to the bus’ designer Song Youzhou, and five cities — Nanyang, Qinhuangdao, Shenyang, Tianjin and Zhoukou — have signed contracts with his TEB Technology Development Company for pilot projects.
The ‘straddling bus’, as it is also known, is supposed to be a solution to China’s traffic problems.
There have been several concerns from the public after pictures were circulated last May, such as the feasibility of the project and the initial apprehension of having to drive under the bus.
Hopefully, the prototype launched in Qinhuangdao this week will hopefully help answer some of those concerns.
For China, which is notorious for its copies, this is an innovative idea to help cope with their problems.
Pictures of the prototype can be viewed at China’s XinHua News Agency’s Facebook page.
A commenter on the post has pointed out the design of the straddling bus is very similar to a bus seen in the 2012 movie Total Recall, so it may not be completely original after all.
This doesn’t mean it’s not a step forward for civilisation; perhaps if the idea proves to be feasible, we would see it implemented in more countries and reduce congestion everywhere.