Concept vehicles are great to look at but, in many cases, that’s all you can do with ’em because they remain just that: concepts.
When they do get made, it can take years or even decades from brainstorm to execution, except apparently in China, where a futuristic bus made the transition from intriguing concept to driving on concrete in just months.
After a model was unveiled in May to much excitement, a real-deal Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) prototype was tested on a track in Qinhuangdao City in Hebei Province earlier this week.
During the drive, the futuristic bus — which can “straddle” the road and lift itself above traffic in order to let other vehicles pass below it — was evaluated to see how well its braking system functioned and if its drag and power consumption numbers were up to snuff.
World's first transit elevated bus, TEB-1 on its launching test Tuesday in Qinhuangdao, N China's Hebei pic.twitter.com/yMepYWD1kD— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) August 2, 2016
Seventy-two feet long and 25 feet wide, the TEB can hit speeds approaching 40 MPH and its passenger compartment can carry 300 riders. Better, multiple buses can be linked together.
“In its finished form, the TEB is supposed to zoom above the street, while traffic slips conveniently underneath,” according to Shanghaiist. “Similar to a subway, it would cost five times less and take only a year to finish.”
Given how fast this version of the TEB came to be, that timetable seems a tad lengthy.