Hello, Future – China Is Developing A Bus That Straddles Cars To End Traffic Jams

When you’re on the bus in the height of traffic, do you ever wish it could just magically go through all the cars and get you to your destination faster? Well, this wish may soon be true, at least in China (and maybe other places—let us hope). Only, the bus wouldn’t go through cars—cars would go through the bus.

As you may know, China is known for its traffic and air pollution, so this could be a big win for everyone, as well as the Earth.

This past weekend, participants at the 19th International High-Tech Expo in Beijing watched a demo of the “straddling bus”—the Transit Explore Bus (TEB), part tram, part bus—at work.

At 40 mph, the bus would transport up to 1,400 passengers and would cover two lanes of traffic, reported CityLab. Regular cars (under 7-feet high) would drive “through” it—aka underneath it—and if drivers look up, they’ll see a “sky” on the bus’s underside.

On top of which, it would be good for the environment in other ways, too. Not just by getting people to not use their cars and, thus, not add to the air pollution, but the bus would be electric—one bus would replace 40. That means yearly carbon emissions would be cut by 2,500 tons and fuel consumption by 800 tons, according to an interview with Song Youzhou, the chief engineer. The other great thing is that it’s substantially cheaper than building a subway – only 16% of what a subway costs.

Youzhou’s idea hit the news back in 2010 and was supposed to be built in Beijing that year. However, the Xinhua news agency in China reported that a life-sized model of the Transit Explore Bus is being made now in Changzhou, with hopes of testing it out in July or August.

You can check out how it would work here:

Photo by ImNotQuiteJack