Bus That Rolls Above Traffic Debuts in China
(CN) — A solution to traffic congestion in major metropolitan areas may be closer to becoming a reality, after a Chinese company showcased its new "flying" bus — able to leapfrog over traffic jams — earlier this week.
TEB Technology organized a demonstration of their bus called TEB-1, or Transit Elevated Bus, on Wednesday. The vehicle is nearly 16 feet tall, 72 feet long and 26 feet wide.
The bus straddles two lanes of traffic and straddles the width of the road, allowing cars to pass beneath. As more Chinese people purchase cars, the TEB-1 may be a valuable tool in alleviating major traffic jams.
TEB Technology debuted a model in May, before conducting a road test and picking up prospective passengers in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The bus rolls along a designated track on top of an existing roadway, which doesn't require a separate overpass or other additional construction.
Laying tracks for the elevated bus on highways that do not have many twists and turns presents fewer challenges than creating a system to maneuver through traffic circles and crisscross patterns of narrow streets, which will have to be addressed.
The size of many vehicles in the United States and elsewhere also present issues, as the TEB-1 currently only appears to be capable of clearing midsize sedans.
Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Bookings Institution, pointed out several hurdles to bringing a bus like the TEB-1 to the United States, including infrastructure costs and the optics of having a large bus rolling above traffic.
"It's a lot easier for (China) to strong-arm those kind of innovations through," Tomer told The Washington Post. "We have a much more democratic process when it comes to infrastructure investment, and that will slow down how long it would take for this to take effect in the U.S."