The large 300-passenger vehicles are basically 45% bus, 5% train, and 50% tunnel-on-wheels. The buses stand 4.5 meters tall, resting on legs that allow normal civilian automobiles to drive under them so as to minimize traffic disruption. Trucks cannot pass under them, but are warned off by means of an ultrasonic proximity detector and alarm. As the buses pass over the cars, radar and alarm systems will alert drivers to make sure they don't impact with the train.
The buses will load from elevated stations, and passengers will enter and exit from overhead via automatic sunroofs. Inside they look much like subway trains, except for the staircase leading to the exit on top.
The 3D Express Coach is electric, powered by special towers or poles at the side of the road - no cables. The buses are long enough that they will always be in contact with at least one pole, connecting with the next one before leaving the first. They are environmentally friendly, and expected to relieve traffic congestion at a tenth of the cost to build and maintain that a subway system would.
Construction of the vehicles and system is scheduled to begin in late 2010.
Game and Story Use
- Bizarre commuter solutions and oddball vehicles like this are great set dressing for a cyberpunk game.
- These things are just begging for a chase scene or fight scene. Here's a few possible stunts and images:
- Cars trying to force each other into colliding with the giant bus they're driving under.
- Over-sized hummers barely squeaking under the bus, and setting off the proximity alarms.
- People jumping from bus to car, or road pirates boarding the bus by driving under it.
- Panicked passengers forcing open the sun roof and running out on top of the giant bus.
- Bad drivers misjudging the distance to the bus and getting crunched or dragged down the road.
- Huge bus-thing derailing or stopping suddenly because a power tower/pole has been knocked out.
- For once some one can literally "throw you under the bus", and you might be okay! Assuming the other traffic doesn't hit you.