China conducted a first test run of an innovative, road-straddling, 22 metre long bus this week.

The blue, tunnel-like Transit Elevated Bus (TEB-1) can carry up to 300 passengers in one carriage, over the top of traffic on the road, the state run Xinhua news agency said.

In the test in the northern city of Qinhuangdao, the bus moved slowly along a 300 metre track and stopped to allow people to get on board.

In May, developers released a video showing a model of the bus and said it would be able to carry 1200 people, with vehicles able to drive underneath it, as long as they are lower than two metres.

Xinhua said the bus design had attracted interest from governments in Brazil, France, India and Indonesia.

Part of the bus, which is 7.8m wide and 4.8m high, needs further assembling, the official People’s Daily newspaper quoted the chief engineer as saying.

  • Whilst we must adopt a receptive and open mind to new ideas and innovation, one would imagine that this vehicle, as described, would create a hazard for the vehicles over which it was driving.

    Driving through a stationary tunnel is one thing. But driving underneath a moving vehicle is another altogether, and will no doubt create hazards for those who have to make judgements not only about their own vehicle but also about the vehicle underneath which they sit.

    I'm not saying these concerns cannot be overcome, I am just saying that this is something with regard to which we would want to proceed carefully.

  • As impressive an engineering feat this might be, I can't help but feel it's a huge opportunity cost given that there are more effective options at hand or on the horizon (i.e. automated vehicles). Nonetheless. a better option than road clogging tram lines.

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