For passenger vehicles, trying to navigate around public transportation can be frustrating. Buses tend to take aggressive approaches to merging with traffic, move slowly, and can obstruct a driver’s line of sight. Chinese engineers believe they've found a solution: a bus that cars can drive under. We reported on a miniature model of the bus back in May, but now they're actually testing a full-size vehicle.
Dubbed the Transit Elevated Bus, or TEB, the 72-foot-long, 25-foot-wide vehicle looks like a giant row of staples—a hollow space in the middle allows for passenger cars to pass freely through the bus as it moves through cities (using solar power and electricity) on pre-laid tracks on either side of the street. Up to 300 passengers can board the TEB using elevators that allow the vehicle to “park” without disrupting the flow of traffic.
The proof-of-concept demonstration was held Tuesday, August 2, in the city of Qinhuangdao, where the bus lumbered slowly along a 1000-foot track. While there appear to be questions about how well the TEB handles turns—and how cars will be able to safely navigate them while under the machine—engineers expect TEB to be on the road within the next 18 months.
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