China has begun testing a futuristic-looking electric bus that straddles traffic as it drives down the street.
By straddling the traffic, the bus is able to quickly move above most vehicles, helping cut down on congestion and pollution caused by auto emissions.
Transit Explore Bus, which is the company behind the vehicle, first revealed the concept in May at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo. But on Tuesday the company showed off a full-scale prototype in Qinhuangdao, China and launched its first road test, according to a report from China Xinhua News.
Let’s take a closer look at the prototype.
The straddling bus, or the TEB-1 as it’s called, is the world’s first elevated bus. The bus is elevated so cars can pass under as it moves along roads. Cars under 6.5 feet tall can easily fit below the bus. Electric chargers are placed along the bus route to charge the vehicle when it’s low on energy.
It can travel up to 37 miles per hour. Because the bus straddles the lanes below, it has an extra wide cabin providing lots of space. A full-size straddling bus can accommodate more than 1,000 passengers. According to the TEB’s chief engineer John Youzhou, the biggest advantage of the bus is that it helps save lots of road space. What’s more, it only costs 16% of what building a subway would cost.