The 3D Express Coach or the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), China’s futuristic proposal to end its horrible traffic problem, is about to be put to the test in a couple of months.
Government-run news platforms have announced that the scheduled test run will cover a mere 300-meter distance and is not expected to “exactly simulate real world traffic conditions,” according to Shanghaiist.
The event, which is set to take place in August at Hebei province’s Beidaihe District of Qinhuangdao, is an abbreviated version of what was initially announced by the project developers.
A previous announcement by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Company, the firm in charge of the bus’ development, indicated that the first test run would be at least 2 kilometers.
Reporters have asked what exactly the developers are trying to learn from the test. Many have pointed out that the shortened distance will unlikely provide compelling proof of its efficacy on the road.
Once hailed by Time Magazine as one of the 50 Best Inventions of the Year in 2010, the straddling bus has encountered a few figurative bumps in the road. The “innovation,” which was unveiled at the 13th Beijing International High-Tech Expo back in May 2010, was delayed for six years.
Over the years, questions of safety have been raised concerning its interaction with other vehicles on the road, especially when drivers attempt to change lanes. Other criticisms point out the need for straight roads for the tracks which are not even found in many urban areas. There is also the question of overhead boarding stations that would take up enormous amounts of space.