A company in the southern Chinese town of Shenzhen has done Tried designing a vehicle that takes up no road space. And make it partly solar powered. To address the country’s problems with traffic and air quality, Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment has developed a decidedly odd-looking, extra-wide and extra-tall vehicle that can carry up to 1,200 passengers.
Though it is called the “straddling bus,” Huashi’s invention resembles a train in many respects — but it requires neither elevated tracks nor extensive tunneling. Its passenger compartment spans the width of two traffic lanes and sits high above the road surface, on a pair of fence like stilts that leave the road clear for ordinary cars to pass underneath. It runs along a fixed route.
Huashi Future Parking’s outsize invention — six meters, or about 20 feet, wide — is to be powered by a combination of municipal electricity and solar power derived from panels mounted on the roofs of the vehicles and at bus stops.
A pilot project for the vehicle is in the works in Beijing, and several other Chinese cities have shown interest.
The company says the vehicle — which will travel at an average speed of 40 kilometers an hour, or about 25 m.p.h. — could reduce traffic jams by 25 to 30 percent on main routes.
The straddling bus could replace up to 40 conventional buses, potentially saving the 860 tons of fuel that 40 buses would consume annually, and preventing 2,640 tons of carbon emissions, said Youzhou Song, the vehicle’s designer.
The cost of construction — 50 million renminbi, or $7.4 million, for one bus and about 25 miles of route facilities — is roughly one-tenth what it costs to build a subway of the same length, he said.