When I was growing up, I loved watching the cartoon The Jetsons.
It was how I envisioned the future to be — at least in part.
While I didn't necessarily think we would all live in Skypad apartments and go to Space Burger, I did think that we would have some sort of aerocar...
Maybe you're chuckling right now, but I don't think it's that far-fetched. After all, most TV shows or movies about the future depict some sort of hovering vehicle.
And while we may be a few decades away from hovering autos, this notion of futuristic transportation is closer than we might think.
Earlier this year, China-based Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co. unveiled designs for a new “straddling bus” at the Beijing International High-tech Expo.
Since publication transportation and traffic are major concerns in any urban area, Shenzhen's straddling bus is an environmentally friendly solution that addresses both of these concerns.
Approximately 20 feet-wide and14-feet tall, the bus consists of two levels: passengers board on the upper level, while regular vehicles can pass through underneath.
Powered by electricity and solar energy, the system runs at an average 25mph and has a capacity of 1200.
Shenzhen estimates the bus will save up to 860 tons of fuel per year, reduce 2,640 tons of carbon emission, and cut traffic jams down by 20%-30%.
Construction on the model has begun in China and will be piloted in Beijing’s Mentougou District.
Even more crazy? The straddling bus might be coming to America...
Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi, has formed the company U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus to develop the bus system in America.
“We believe U.S. manufacturers would do better than in any other country,” Mark Shieh, a spokesman for U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus Group Inc., told The Los Angeles Business Journal this week. “If we manufacture it here, it will be easy to ship.”
According to Shieh, designers would like to manufacture the bus in Southern California because of the region’s close ties to China and its proximity to major shipping routes.
While there are many factors to consider — one being safety for everyone on the road — the straddling bus is an exciting idea...
Especially since the United States is not exactly known for its stellar public transportation.
For more details on the straddling bus, read the translation of Song Youzhou's presentation here.
Until Next Time,