It took six years to transform the revolutionary conceptof a bus which runs above street level into a working prototype but looks like Chinese designers finally made it.
China’s news agency Xinhua announced yesterday that the futuristic Transit Elevated Bus (TEB-1) conducted its first road test in the northern city of Qinhuangdao, in the Hebei province.
The demo took place on a very short 300-meters demo track, with the 72-feet-long, 26-feet-wide vehiclemoving slowly in front of a cheering audience.
The interior of the new vehicle closely resembles that of a subway, with a large, empty space in the middle of the upper deck and people sitting at each side, rather than having long rows of seats like on a regular train. The elevated bus will run on rails placed at the edges of the two lanes it straddles, on a fixed route.
The TEB prototype is similar in some ways to the concept pitched in 2010 by the Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment, a company founded in 2009 by Youzhou Song, the engineer who also designed the TEB.
Both vehicles are meant to help ease traffic congestion, reducing the number of buses and cars on Chinese streets. Both were supposed to be electrically powered. There are, however, also some significant differences between the two models.