August 3, 2016
VIDEO: Company in China builds bus that can drive over cars
In an attempt to address the congestion that plagues China’s urban roadways, Chinese engineers have unveiled a massive bus that straddles a roadway allowing cars to drive underneath it, according to Chinese state media.
The Transit Elevated Bus, nicknamed TEB-1, is approximately 70-feet-long, can move as many as 300 riders and is powered by electric and solar power.Song Youzhou, chief engineer of the project, told CCTV that when the TEBs are operational, one vehicle could replace 40 buses. Multiple TEB buses can be linked to each other, the news outlet noted.
The official unveiling included a test run of nearly 1,000 feet along test track with no traffic or roadway infrastructure elements. While it has been reported that the vehicle is capable of speeds between 25 to 31 mph, it moved slower than that during this test run.
Saving Space in a Crowded Country
"The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space," Song told Xinhua earlier this year.
"The TEB has the same functions as the subway, while its cost of construction is less than one fifth of the subway," said engineer Bai Zhiming, according to BBC News.
A mini-model of the vehicle debuted at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May. Some observers have expressed amazement at the speed at which the full-sized model was produced. However, skeptics have pointed out that a 1,000-foot test drive doesn’t prove viability and there are a number of practical challenges, like cars safely driving under it on a curving road, that still need to be addressed.
Back in 2010, we reported on this so-called superbus, and back then engineers had talked about laying down rails for this type of vehicle to travel down. At the time, Song said testing would begin in 2011.
"From the second half of 2011, we're planning to test the bus with passengers on board," he told the Agence-France Presse. He added that the vehicle would carry a maximum of 1,400 passengers and could ease traffic congestion by up to 30 percent.
Image credit: News.CN