This Is the Bus of the Future

(Image: CCTV News)

A company in Beijing, China has devised a radically new approach to mass transportation that, it says, will reduce the notoriously heavy traffic of Chinese cities. What makes the Transit Explore Bus different from conventional buses is that it straddles car lanes, making use of the vertical space above cars.

The huge vehicle stretches over two lanes of traffic, riding along rails on each side. It can travel at up to 38 miles per hour. A single one will be able to replace 50 normal buses. But that's just a hypothetical model. Soon the design will be put to a practical test. The Guardian reports:

A prototype will reportedly be deployed on the streets of Qinhuangdao, a coastal city about 300km east of Beijing, this summer.

The project has been greeted with anticipation in China, where traffic jams have grown as the country overtook the United States to become the largest car market on earth in 2009.

Last year alone 21.1 million passenger cars were sold here.

(Video Link)

This video shows a scale model, as well as a digital rendering of the TEB in action.

-via Rocket News 24

Soooooo.. nothing taller than an average passenger car is allowed on urban Chinese streets?
Looking at pictures I see plenty of minivan type vehicles there that would probably be higher than the 2 meter clearance stated in the article (even after removing the standard buses that this would replace).
But I also see that their highways are *significantly* wider than ours in terms of lanes, so I guess they'd just deem a couple of them as "bus straddle" lanes where only cars of a certain height are allowed.
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