Meet the high-speed bus of the future
Sunday 02 January 2011
Today's buses have a reputation for being large, slow and - even when powered by electricity - rather inefficient.
However, this could all be about to change thanks to a pioneering design from a Dutch scientist which was shown last week in Amsterdam.
The "Superbus" is the work of the Delft University of Technology and Prof. Dr. Wubbo J Ockels, a Dutch physicist and astronaut, to provide a realistic alternative to cars and trains.
The Superbus is fifteen meters long, but that's where the similarities with a normal bus end - instead of the square shape and high roof of a traditional bus, the Superbus looks something like a stretched sports car.
This aerodynamic design enables it to carry 23 passengers at up to 250 km/h, far faster than normal coaches which normally travel at around 100 km/h on highways.
Remarkably, it achieves this using electricity and consumes as much energy as a regular bus traveling at 100km/h thanks to the use of lightweight materials provided by Aerospace engineering firm TenCate.
The entire structure is constructed of carbon fibre composite and uses ten doors instead of two to enable more seating space in the interior (there is no central aisle), where passengers can enjoy seat belts, airbags, TV, internet, air conditioning and heating.
Although the Superbus is still very much a concept, the team hopes that a version could be implemented by 2015, perhaps on a dedicated track that would enable it to reach its top speed of 250 km/h along sections of the route.
A video from the Delft University of Technology, which has been working on the concept, appears to show that the model could be used first in Abu Dhabi, also no confirmation was available.
Watch the Superbus in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UC_hlnr6ZlI
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