CLOSE

China To Develop a Bus That Straddles Traffic

For anyone who's ever fantasized of shrinking down their vehicle and driving under slow-moving traffic, that could one day be a reality in some Chinese cities. At least that's true for the second half of the equation: As City Lab reports, the Beijing-based company Transit Explore Bus debuted their "straddling bus" concept at the International High-Tech Expo in Beijing last weekend.

The bus design would tackle China's growing congestion problem by transporting passengers high above the road, allowing cars to pass beneath it like a giant, roaming tunnel. You can watch a small-scale model demonstration of the concept in the video above.

A special track would electrically power the bus at speeds up to 40 miles per hour. It would be capable of carrying as many as 1400 passengers at once, making it equivalent to 40 conventional buses. As travelers sit comfortably above two lanes of traffic, motorists in cars shorter than 7 feet would be able to cruise underneath as a simulation of the sky plays on panels above their heads.

Anyone who's ever been stuck behind an impossible-to-pass bus can see the benefits, but the vehicles would be good for more than just road rage. The straddling bus would consume 800 tons less fuel than the buses it would replace and emit 2500 tons less carbon. It would also be a cheaper and less invasive alternative to digging out tunnels to construct subway lines.

Two American architects proposed a similar straddling bus concept in 1969 that would have run from Boston to Washington D.C. It never made it past the design stage, but now that hyperloop pods and self-driving cars are dominating the transportation conversation nearly 50 years later, the idea seems less outrageous.

Transit Explore Bus is working on a full-sized model of the bus in the city of Changzhou with plans to test it later in the summer.

[h/t City Lab]

All images courtesy of YouTube.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
© 2017 USPS
arrow
Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

arrow
fun
Can You Spot the Christmas Pudding?

Whether it’s a sheep hanging out with Santa Claus or a panda bear hiding among some snowmen, regular Mental Floss readers know that hidden picture brainteasers are one of our favorite things. And the optical experts at Lenstore.co.uk have released a delicious one, just in time for Christmas. Somewhere in the midst of all these holiday-themed goodies above, there’s a holiday pudding just waiting to be discovered. Can you spot it? Your time starts … now.

If you give up, or are the kind of person who reads the last page of a book before the first one and just wants to know the answer, scroll down to see where it’s hiding.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios