Tired of traffic jams and exhaust fumes? A recently unveiled design concept for a "straddling bus," which lets cars drive underneath, can not only save road space but also help reduce air pollution.
Also known as a land airbus, the concept was the brainchild of the Beijing-based Transit Explore Bus, who took their design to the just-concluded high-tech expo in the city.
The passenger compartment spans two traffic lanes and sits high above the road surface on a pair of stilts,leaving the road clear for ordinary cars to pass underneath.
Regardless of whether the the bus is moving or not, cars under 2 meters high can easily pass through.
Running along special tracks, the bus can carry up to 1,400 passengers, and travel at a top speed of 60 kilometers per hour.
"The biggest advantage is that the bus will save lots of road space," said Song Youzhou, chief engineer of the straddling bus project.
He added that the bus has the similar function of the subway, but its cost is only 16 percent of the subway. The manufacturing and construction lead-time is also much shorter.
Furthermore,the design is environmentally friendly.Powered by electricity, the straddling bus could replace about 40 conventional buses, potentially saving more than 800 tonnes of fuel annually and reducing 2,480 tonnes of carbon emissions, according to Song.
Some Chinese cities have shown interest in the invention.
Song said that a vehicle is under production in east China's city of Changzhou to test the feasibility of the design.
"Our first test bus is planned to be put on track in north China's Qinhuangdao City at the end of July or in August," he said.
If successful, the straddling bus may ease traffic congestion and help reduce air pollution in China.