The World's Longest Bus Is A Traffic Nightmare Waiting To Happen

Public transport is a great way to reduce traffic and gridlock in a crowded city. But do those benefits still apply when the streets are filled with 30m long buses like the Fraunhofer Institute's AutoTram Extra Grand? Forget tight corners — this thing might not even make it through a green light.

The AutoTram Extra Grand was designed to be a cheaper alternative to trains since it uses existing roadways instead of requiring railway infrastructure to be built. But because of its extreme length, it will actually be limited to use outside of crowded city centres for hauling suburban commuters — up to 256 per busload.

A specially developed steering algorithm ensures the rear sections of the bus perfectly follow the cab, and it makes driving the behemoth feel like piloting a standard-sized bus, so no special licence is needed to operate it. But given its length, there's a good chance passengers might need a transfer just to walk from one end to the other as they hunt for a seat. [Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems via The Local via Dvice]


Comments

    Seems no different to modern trams in many ways. Might need its own dedicated road in the same way trams have their own tracks and traffic light turn signals though.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bi-articulated_bus
    There are a few of them around already

      I was talking about the double bending buses, not this particular bus.

    Parallel parking and three point turns would be a nightmare.

      Which one always does in a bus...

    I think it would serve a purpose in airports where you bus out to the planes. They have to run a large number of buses and this could solve that problem.

    The first 2 sections are pretty much what some swiss cities use for long buses. (I remember seeing them in Lucerne when I was there (2 years ago, and they didn't look "new") , they have separate "carriages" without the concertina between, but a steer axle on the trailer. Then add a normal "bendy-bus" rear end, and you have it....

    Let Fraunhofer tell you that there is a "New steering algorithm" and it all sounds High-tech...

    High capacity, not necessarily any worse turning circle than is needed for a regular bus route.. And we have a tram without rails.... why stop at only 3 sections... (have you ever tried turning a tram around.).
    Or Use a "Really high tech solution", with full Trajectory tracking on all axles and you can have all of the wheels rolling within the same footprint. (See ETFtrucks.)
    However Simple is best... Roadtrains have been designed for a while to follow the leader "effectively"... (Given the limitations in their simplistic design.) It's all in the geometry.

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