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.

Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


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