Washington, December 14 : With a view to encouraging people to travel by bus, researchers in the Netherlands are creating a smart vehicle which will be similar to the limousine in many respects.
Dubbed the Superbus, the vehicle will provide riders with a high-tech and luxurious environment. It will also be able to get people to their destinations in a fast, convenient, and fuel-efficient manner.
"All of the smartness is in the vehicle," Discovery News quoted Wubbo J. Ockels, professor and general manager of the AeroSpace for Sustainable Engineering and Technology program at the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands, as saying.
"It receives requests by Internet or SMS. It then collects and gathers those people who are going roughly at the same time and to the same destination," said Ockels, who is working with former Formula 1 designer Antonia Terzi and aerospace engineer Joris Melkert to develop a prototype in time for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
He said that as compared to conventional buses that have set schedules and routes, the Superbus would be very flexible because its schedules and pickup locations would be based entirely on the people who need it.
The journeys would be optimised by software, which is being installed in the bus to find fastest and most efficient path for a group of riders.
The Superbus' rubber tires will enable it to drive on conventional roads, offering near-home pickup. Its low profile, racecar-like design gives it the aerodynamics to achieve speeds of 155 mph on a 10-foot concrete track, and thus offers fast service.
The vehicle's frame can also zoom along just a few inches above the ground while on the dedicated track. In the city, the bus will rise up to a foot off the ground. (ANI)
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