China to Build Huge Buses That Cars Can Drive Under

China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases and biggest energy consumer, the Engadget reports.

Straddling buses will be made to fit under city overpasses. Shenzhen Hashi predicts that each of the vehicles' cabs will carry 300 passengers at a time (up to 1,400 passengers in all) and will reduce traffic by up to 30% on crowded roads. Photo: China Hush

China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest producer of greenhouse gases and biggest energy consumer, the Engadget reports.

But the country is also thinking in big and bold ways when it comes to how it will reduce pollution and a new plan to build a “straddling bus” is among the most space-age schemes yet.

In an effort to go green and relieve congestion without widening roads, designers at Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd is developing a “3D Express Coach” (also known as a “three-dimensional fast bus”).

The innovation will allow cars less than 2 meters high to travel underneath the upper level of the vehicle, which will be carrying passengers.

According to China Hush, the 6-meter-wide 3D Express Coach will be powered by a combination of electricity and solar energy, and will be able to travel up to 60 kilometers per hour carrying some 1200 to 1400 passengers.

According to the Engadget, construction of the first 115 miles of track will begin in Beijing's Mentougou district at the end of 2010. Photo: China Hush

This isn’t just a fanciful, imaginary vision of our future. No, these buses are actually being put into pilot use shortly. They should make their debut in Beijing’s Mentougou district, where work is to commence on the first 186km of track at year’s end.

Each of the jumbo buses will measure 4 to 4.5 meters high, with passengers aboard the upper level and other vehicles lower than 2 meters going under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can carry 1,200 to 1,400 passengers at a time.

The first 115 miles of track is set for construction in Beijing’s Mentougou district starting in late 2010. The Chairman of the Huashi Future Parking Equipment company boasts it will take only a year and 500 million yuan (around $73 million) to build the futuristic transportation system.

Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd. (translation text at China Hush) [HS Future and China Hush via Engadget and Huffington Post]

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