Commuters in Sichuan province in China witnessed a hovering suspension train that looked like a giant mechanical panda over the streets last week.
The first suspension train in China, which has successfully passed its inaugural test, ran on a part of controlled track in Chengdu. Continued testing will be conducted until it is able to transverse 1.25 kilometers of its suspended tracks, state media reported (via Shanghaiist).
China rolled off its first “sky trains” from the assembly line last month in Nanjing, which its team of engineers designed and completed in just four months. The country will be the third nation to utilize such technology behind Germany and Japan.
Able to travel at speeds of up to 37 mph, the new trains, which can carry 200 passengers, are powered by lithium batteries. A fully charged train can run for four hours each charge and can be charged in as fast as two minutes at each station.
The new transit is reportedly not just cheaper and much faster to build, but also safer for the environment, officials claimed. According to Beijing Jiaotong University professor Yue Zhaohong, dozens of kilometers of sky train rails could be constructed in only three to five months.
The new skytrains will make their official debut at a variety of scenic places in China by 2017.