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It looks like something out of a science fiction movie, but China's "straddle bus," which went for its first test drive this week, could have the potential to revolutionize transportation.
The electric bus, known as the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) is 72 feet long and 25 feet wide. Its elevated body, which can fit 300 passengers, allows cars to pass under the bus, keeping the flow of traffic. Four of the vehicles can be linked together, providing the potential to transport as many as 1,200 passengers.
The bus first generated buzz when it was introduced at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May. This week's trial run was its most public outing yet.
Moving along a 300-meter controlled track in Qinhaungdao, located in northeast China, the bus ran on tracks as cars passed under it. The engineers behind the project say it can be built for one-fifth of the cost of a subway system.
The bus hasn't been on the open road yet, but engineers believe the vehicle can run at a speed of 60 km/hour (37 mph), according to the BBC. While that may seem slow, it could have the potential to be the quickest option in congested urban areas, particularly at rush hour.