This looks like the kind of thing that might have once appeared on the cover of an old issue of Popular Science. Instead, it comes from the place where today's sci-fi fantasies go for a test drive: Modern China.
The basic concept here is what's called a "straddling bus." Part light rail vehicle, part bus, and part tunnel, a straddling bus is basically an elevated railcar designed so that individual passenger cars can literally drive underneath it, thus reducing urban congestion.
China Hush provides the details and the logic behind this bizarre concept:
Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles’ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.
Will the "straddling bus" actually get built? Call us doubtful. But it does have one thing going for it that we well appreciate: This is an idea unlike anything we've ever seen before.
You don't need to speak Chinese to enjoy this video, in which the entrepreneurial visionary explains his vision for the future:
What's that you say? "Monorail! Monorail! Monorail!"