Following the spectacular failure last year of the “straddling bus,” China has now unveiled a new solution to its public transportation woes that’s half train, half bus and, most importantly, not completely insane.
The Autonomous Rail Transit (ART) was shown off for the first time last week in the city of Zhuzhou in Hunan province. The innovative mode of public transit looks a train, but runs on a virtual track rather than rails, making it more like a long self-driving bus.
China’s CRRC began developing the ART back in 2013 as a way to ease hellish congestion in China’s crowded urban centers. It is being billed as a cheaper alternative to metros or trams, while also being more environmentally-friendly.
The battery-powered ART is capable of holding up to 307 passengers and hitting speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour.
CRRC is currently working on setting up a 6.5 kilometer track in Zhuzhou and hopes to have the ART operational by next year.
So while it might not look nearly as cool as the TEB, at least it might actually work.
[Images via RedNet.cn]
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