You may have imagined the future of transit as jetpacks that fly above traffic or self-driving cars that transport you back from the bar while you drool in the backseat, but it’s much stranger. Meet the straddle bus.
China has begun testing the long-teased concept of an elevated bus, an odd-looking machine that gets around traffic by going over it.
The bus, which can carry 300 passengers at a time and is partly solar-powered, is meant to help ease some of China’s notorious congestion problems. Last year, thousands of travelers were stuck in a 50-lane traffic jam, and in 2010, a 62-mile bottleneck left motorists stranded for 12 days. Kind of puts your morning commute in perspective.
Smog from traffic is tied to respiratory distress, eye, nose, throat irritation, and even birth defects. In China, where smog is particularly terrible, birth defects are far more likely in urban areas with lots of traffic congestion than in rural areas without.
If the straddle bus fails, then there’s always another miracle technology that can bypass traffic. You might know it as the train.
See footage of the future above, brought to us from New China TV.