Renderings make it look like a centipede crawling along the road.
Being thrown under the bus is generally a bad thing, but a new take on public transportation in China could give the phrase a more positive connotation. Dubbed the straddling bus, the bizarre vehicle in the video above lets traffic drive underneath while ferrying up to 1,400 passengers inside.
Technically, the term bus is a misnomer because this thing uses tracks on both sides of the road. At two lanes wide and with nearly seven feet of ground clearance above the road, other vehicles simply drive under the straddling bus. Windows at ground level keep drivers’ claustrophobia to a minimum, and the interior for passengers looks like a well-lit subway train. The straddling bus takes power from electric poles along the route and can reach up to 37 miles per hour. Best of all, the flow of traffic doesn't affect it.
A working scale model of the straddling bus is currently at the International High-Tech Expo in Beijing, and the miniature display looks like something from the future-forecasting short films from the 1950s or ‘60s. According to the chief engineer, this idea is quite real and could be floating above the road soon, though. A feasibility test begins as soon as July in a Chinese city. Assuming it works as promised, the straddling bus could be a way for the country to reduce road congestion and help the environment.