China to Build Giant Friggin's Buses You Can Drive Underneath

This looks too cool. Giant public buses that cars can simply drive under. See them here.

We could use these in Bangkok.

EDIT: And naturally I screwed up Friggin’ in the title. Could a Mod please take off the S? Thanks.

I saw that a few days ago. A few questions did spring to mind.

Are they really busses? It looks like the wheels run in dedicated tracks.

How do people get in and out? The doors are on the upper level, so there’ll have to be elevated stations built along the route.

If they’re going to all that trouble, why not just build an elevated train? These busses seem like the worst of both worlds; having to deal with signals and street-level traffic, and all the expense of laying new tracks and building stations.

You’re right - I think a better definition would be “streetcars”.

I saw this as well. It looked to me like the “bus” was actually on tracks, and might be described as an elevated train. I think it looks like a pipe dream. What happens when someone stops on the track during a traffic jam? The bus/train/dingus has to come to a stop. If 2 cars have an accident on that street, then I bet that they block one or both of the tracks, again stopping the “bus”. And I’m sure that some tourist or country bumpkin coming to town will freak out when one of these straddles him, and try to turn and drive through that side wall.

I don’t expect to see this any time soon. Too impractical, IMHO.

They’re supposed to start laying down the first 186 kilometers of track later this year in Beijing. Perhaps that’s what makes it more desirable than an elevated train? The distance involved? Sounds like they’re planning an extensive system, and maybe this will save on costs by simply laying a rail on each side of a road or lane?

Looks like there’s a railed and a railless system involved, so maybe that’s what qualifies it as a bus?

Looks like something from the cover of a 1915 copy of Air Wonder Stories or something.

I was going to say Popular Science. The number of problems that such a system could and would cause are hard to number.

I don’t understand how it will be high enough to clear regular busses/trucks on the road, but low enough to drive beneath underpasses, and still have room for people. Does your average delivery truck have 10’ of clearance through an underpass?

Seems to me those problems already arise with current public transit that runs on tracks that are in or that cross public streets (streetcars, LRTs, etc). If some idiot gets stuck or gets into an accident on our LRT tracks they stop the LRT from going anywhere (and the idiot’s car probably gets seriously smucked in the process).

I’ve been stuck in 90-minute traffic jams every other day when bussing it to work recently, so I hope these things become a reality.

Certainly more of a tram or streetcar than a bus, though.

The Mods still haven’t removed that S in the title. :frowning:

Updating this thread, unfortunately Dopers are going to be horribly disappointed:

It’s official: China suspects its “car-eating,” traffic-straddling bus is a total scam

It sounds like a great idea.
What could go wrong?

I do like that they settled on the name, “Car-Eating Bus”.

No kidding. I nearly wet my pants laughing at the concept.

This from the country where portable execution chambers are driven from one village to the next in vans, no doubt announcing their arrival with “Turkey in the Straw”.

Now wait a minute, execution vans and big gigantic buses…

What about going under bridges ?

I don’t believe the execution vans have a problem with bridges.

My grandmother used to tell me bedtime stories about Giant Friggin. He used to eat people, so it’s good to hear he’s found a place in the modern world designing buses.

I could have told them that Giant Friggin was a con man all along.