The "straddling bus” is part mass transport, part tunnel.
Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus recently unveiled its latest concept design for its straddling colossus at the 19th International High Tech Expo in Beijing last weekend. The designer's main mission is to ease road congestion, which comes as good news to a rapidly urbanized country whose population is quickly verging on 1.4 billion people.
The futuristic design is 60 meters (200 feet) long and nearly 8 meters (26 feet) wide. The design allows any cars less than 2 meters (7 feet) tall to travel underneath, whether it is moving or stationary.
It might all seem like an accident waiting to happen, but a few cities have already expressed an interest in developing the technology, Xinhua News Agency reports. So far, the bus remains a concept. However, they will finish constructing a working prototype in Changzhou, eastern China, sometime after late July.
The bus is able to carry up to 1,400 passengers at a speed of 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour. Along with easing the congestion of bustling road networks, the company also hopes to bring some relief to China’s smoggy skies.
The size of the vehicle means it could replace about 40 conventional buses. Since it’s also designed to be powered by electricity, it has the potential to save over 800 tonnes (880 tons) of fuel annually, reducing 2,480 tonnes (2,730 US tons) of carbon emissions.
Moreover, it is considerably cheaper than a subway train system and requires comparatively less construction or maintenance.
Check it out in all its futuristic glory below, along with a rather cool small-scale model of the design.