REMEMBER that crazy, futuristic bus Chinese engineers dreamed up? Well they’ve actually gone ahead and built and successfully tested it.
Known as the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) the vehicle is designed to use ordinary roads and is able to glide over the top of traffic, straddling the cars which pass beneath its hollow underbelly.
China has been playing around with the innovative concept for a number of years but for the longest time it remained in the domain of fancy rendering software.
However the project received renewed momentum in May when a small scale model was unveiled at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, prompting fresh excitement for the idea.
On Tuesday the first version of the infamous bus went on its maiden test run in Qinhuangdao City in the northern Hebei province, paving the way for what authorities hope will be a much needed solution to the growing problem of traffic congestion in many of China’s big cities.
However the test run yesterday hardly replicated the real-life road conditions the bus will need to navigate if it’s going to be the traffic congestion panacea it’s creators are touting it as.
Instead the vehicle was contained to a 300m long track which featured limited turns and tightly controlled traffic conditions.
While the successful test was a major step for the project, questions still remain about how the bus will handle the unpredictability of China’s increasingly busy roadways.
But at this rate, those questions could be answered very soon.