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The Land Airbus May Soon Be Soaring Above Traffic in China

The Land AirbusImagine a bus that holds up to 1,400 people without taking up any additional space on the roadways. We would sure love that here in Tyler, TX! It might sound improbable, but China is testing a mass transit idea that will do just that. It’s called the “Land Airbus” and some say it looks like an overgrown monorail. Here are some cool things to know about this amazing innovation, brought to you by Autobody Express - Tyler, a shop that is always intrigued by great inventions that can potentially improve all of our lives.

One of its many unique features is that it will allow cars—up to 6.5 feet tall—to travel underneath it, whether the Land Airbus is moving or stopped. Sitting high above the road on a pair of stilts, the elevated bus would run along special tracks. The passenger compartments would take up two traffic lanes and be built approximately 20 feet wide and 14 feet tall. 

The design concept was unveiled at Beijing’s International High-Tech Expo in May 2016. According to industry reports, two Chinese firms, Transit Explore Bus and Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment, are proponents of the project and involved in bringing the Land Airbus to life.  

The first unit is currently under construction in China to test its feasibility and a trial run is expected sometime in 2016.

Powered by electricity and solar energy, the straddling bus would travel about 37 mph. Some of its features include airlift stations, built-in elevators, video monitoring and a radar scanning system embedded on the walls, which would warn other vehicles not to get too close to the bus’s wheels. Guardrails would be installed between the bus tracks and car lanes to help prevent accidents.  

Airbus LandSong Youzhou, the chief engineer of the project and chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., said there are many benefits of building a Land Airbus. Some of these include:

  • Manufacturing and construction time would be significantly reduced, compared to building a traditional subway system
  • Each bus is estimated to cost $4.5 million, which is approximately 1/16 of the cost to construct a subway.
  • Utilizing the Land Airbus could ease traffic congestion in large cities.
  • This type of transit system would reduce air pollution, potentially saving an estimated 800 tons of fuel per year and preventing about 2,480 tons of carbon emissions.
  • Some say the new invention could replace 40 conventional buses.

The Land Airbus may soon be soaring above traffic in China. Other large cities around the world are watching closely to see if this potential transit system is the wave of the future.

Sources: BBC, Wall Street Journal and CNN

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