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Who will build China's car-straddling bus in the U.S.?

Who will build China's car-straddling bus in the U.S.?

Posting in Design

The inventor of China's novel car-straddling bus seeks American manufacturers to bring his design to life in the U.S.

In August, we wrote about a car-straddling bus proposed in China to handle the country's mounting problems with traffic congestion and pollution.

Exhibited in May, the bus -- which runs on solar energy and suspends hundreds of passengers above a fully operational highway -- took the transportation world by storm as a futuristic, novel approach to addressing a major problem.

Now, the inventor of the "Straddling Bus" wants to take it Stateside.

Song Youzhou announced his intent on Monday to form a U.S. branch of his Shenzhen, China-based company to handle partnerships and licensing of the vehicle.

The company, called U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus (Group) Inc., will handle markets in the Americas and Europe, and seeks American specialized vehicle manufacturers to make Song's bus a reality.

The elevated, high-speed bus is designed to straddle two lanes of traffic and travel on rails or merely painted guidelines. It has an average speed of 25 miles per hour and tops out at nearly 50 m.p.h.

The first projects in China are set to begin in 2011. Song claims it takes a third of the time to build his system, versus a conventional railway, and combines the best parts of subway and bus rapid transit systems.

"The Elevated High-Speed Bus is an ultra low-carbon producer, environmentally friendly and high-efficiency project," he said in a statement. "It solves the problems found with ordinary fuel-consuming buses that include air pollution, carbon emissions, and low energy efficiency."

Will anyone in America bite? It's hard to say, but perhaps a successful demonstration could give this design the traction it needs.

Here's a look in a video:

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure