By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
Cross a Lamborghini with a school bus and you would probably get something like the aptly-named Superbus.
Cross a Lamborghini with a school bus and you'd probably get something like the aptly-named Superbus.
The futuristic car, which boasts a top speed of 155 miles per hour and seating for 23 passengers, was recently unveiled before a group of awestruck teenagers in the Netherlands.
What they saw was a one-of-a-kind 50-foot long stretch vehicle comprised of strong, yet lightweight carbon fiber body and a Li-on battery-powered electric motor system capable of 530 bhp. It also comes equipped with a navigation system, obstacle detection, communication system, fail safe system and control system along with standard upscale amenities like TV and internet.
Dutch astronaut Wubbo Ockels, who spearheaded its development, told the youngsters that he originally conceived of the Superbus as an alternative to trains, which he felt were too slow and were limited to certain destinations. Three years and $18 million dollars later, his team has produced a transport prototype that cleverly combines the aerodynamics of a race car with the eco-friendly functionality of a mass transit automobile
While the Superbus can be driven on city streets and highways, Ockels stated that the vehicle would run most efficiently if it had its own lane, allowing for travel at higher speeds.
Dvice has reported that the Dutch government is "losing interest in the project," but a recent report in the United Arab Emirates Publication The National suggests that government officials are considering using the Superbus to shuttle people back and forth between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
It's scheduled to be showcased in Dubai on Sunday at the World Exhibition of the International Association of Public Transport.
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Apr 7, 2011
According to my calculations, the Superbus Project or is it a Supertrolley Project is too expensive to commercialise today as all road space is already taken.Financiers of this project should have been sane enough to spend it on medicine.
It lacks passenger capacity. Personally, I saw one of the new Greyhound buses on I-40 today and I like it better. Streamlined without sacrificing seats, which is what you need for it to pay for itself.
ha ha ha ha ha! that's the funniest thing I've read all week! We can't even get the USA's fastest train, the Acella to hit 90mph and this thing is going to hit 155 on a roadway? What a joke! I certainly wouldn't want to be a passenger in this thing!
I'm just so amazed there's people who have this kind of money to waste on a project that has about as much real world application as duel steering wheels inside a car just in case people feel like trading off while driving on long road trips but don't want to pull over and just switch seats like normal people. I'd love to know how much money was thrown at this worthless project. Was it done here in the U.S.A.? Sounds like something nutty our government spends money on.
...but it seems to me that having to build and support another new infrastructure like separate highways and lanes for such a vehicle would make traditional-speed rail look efficient. (It doesn't go fast enough to be compared side-by-side with "High Speed" rail) And like HI points out above, would the 2x speed advantage over traditional buses and highways be worth the trouble? It reminds me of Boeing's proposed-then-abandoned "Sonic Crusier" airliner of about 10 years ago; The relatively small amount of time saved in flight compared to the time of the overall trip really didn't justify the expense and trouble.
What is the range of the vehicle on battery power alone at top speed? Can it do the journey of 120 km (about 74.5 miles), the mileage between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, at top speed and on a single charge? A bus ride between the two cities takes between 90 and 120 minutes right now. Is the cost of building and maintaining a private lane to allow the 155 mph top speed worth cutting the relatively short trip to 30 minutes?