They built it. They actually built it.
After years of waiting, what was once a crazy dream has apparently become reality as China’s infamous “straddling bus” went on its inaugural test run in Qinhuangdao, Hebei province earlier today.
China has been kicking this idea around for quite some time now, but the project generated renewed interest in May when a real, honest-to-god mini model was unveiled at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo. Then, just one month later, developers shocked the world by announcing that the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) would be ready for a test-run in August.
Last month, the future of transportation went into production… but still, we never thought this would actually happen.
The test-run didn’t exactly simulate real world traffic conditions with just one bus carriage on a controlled track of only 300 meters in length. Reporters have questioned what exactly developers would be able to learn from such an abbreviated trial. Well, at least we all now know how totally awesome it is.
Check out the inside:
In its finished form, the TEB is supposed to zoom above the street, while traffic slips conveniently underneath. Its engineer says it will be able to carry up to 1,200 passengers and travel at 60 kilometers per hour. Similar to a subway, it would cost five times less and take only a year to finish.
Earlier this summer, the model and subsequent videos of the “straddling bus” set off speculation around the world about whether the TEB was the public transit miracle the world had been waiting for or the worst idea that anybody has ever had. We’re sure these pictures will only add more fuel to that debate.
Watch the TEB in action below:
And compare that with the digital version:
LOOK OUT WORLD!
[Images via Xinhua]