China Built The Crazy Traffic-Straddling Bus, It's Ginormous

First test of TEB-1 bus 5 photos
First test of TEB-1 busFirst test of TEB-1 busFirst test of TEB-1 busFirst test of TEB-1 bus
Poor traffic management solutions cause crowded streets, so authorities around the world are forced to find new ways to blend public transport with personal vehicles and make things work.
In the case of China, the world’s largest market for new cars, vehicle sales are booming, but the traffic jams are doing the same. Six years ago, an engineer named Son Youzhou designed a vehicle that could carry passengers above traffic. This year, it was unveiled in the form of a bus concept, and the Chinese have already built a working prototype.

The idea of this potentially revolutionary bus is a vehicle that drives above traffic without flying. It is described as a “straddling bus,” which uses rails on the ground to drive itself over the cars that are waiting at a traffic light. Instead of adding a bus to the line of cars, this vehicle rides above them.

As you can see in the video embedded below from Shanghaiist, there is not much room below the “bus,” but it is enough for a regular hatchback or sedan model. However, the engineers that developed this project have not shown what happens if a crossover or SUV is in the way of their straddling bus.

The Chinese call this the TEB-1, and electricity powers it. Its length is about 72 feet (21,9 meters), while the width is 25 feet (7,62 meters). Since it spans across multiple lanes of traffic, it can carry about 300 passengers. Its maximum speed will be of approximately 40 mph (64 km/h), more than enough for city travel.

The first test run was done on a specially constructed track, which only had 300 meters in length. Its creators claim that a maximum capacity of 1,200 passengers is possible, as well as a top speed of 60 km/h (37 mph). Since it operates on rails, it is more similar to a subway than a bus, but it costs five times less than a conventional metro and only requires a year to finish, its makers say.

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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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