China has started testing the revolutionary straddling bus, also known as the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB). The basic idea is that the vehicle straddles multiple lanes of traffic, moving over cars without any worries about traffic jams or other delays. The test track is 300 meters long, from a factory building to an elevated station. The track is located in Qinhuangdao City, in Hebei Province.
The fully electric test vehicle is called TEB-1. It measures 22 meters long, 7.8 meters wide, and 4.8 meters high. The passenger deck has space for 300 people; 245 standing and 55 seated.
The height of the ‘tunnel’ under the bus is 2 meters and it straddles two lanes. There are traffic lights on each side as well. The eventual production vehicles will be much bigger, able to straddle four lanes and a capacity to carry 1200 passengers. The test vehicle is piloted but the real thing is said to be autonomous.
TEB-1 is expected to reach speeds of up to 60km per hour, while up to four TEBs can be linked together.
“The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space,” the project’s chief engineer, Song Youzhou, told state-media agency Xinhua earlier this year.
“The TEB has the same functions as the subway, while its cost of construction is less than one fifth of the subway,” another engineer Bai Zhiming told news outlet CCTV.
One TEB could replace 40 conventional buses, according to the firm. Successful tests of TEB marks a revolution in public transportation while keeping the traffic in check. TEB-1 has also caught the attention of other countries. According to Xinhua, Brazil, France, India and Indonesia have expressed interest in the bus.