Feeds

Dutch astronaut unleashes 155 mph 'Superbus'

Radical electric stretch limo concept

Application security programs and practises

A Dutch former astronaut is hoping the future of public transport could be a 250 km/h (155 mph) "Superbus" - a 23-seater electric beast stretching an impressive 15 metres (49 ft).

Wubbo Ockels, who flew as a mission specialist on Challenger's STS-61A mission back in 1985, has worked with a design team from the TU Delft University to create the "new concept for sustainable mobility".

According to chief designer Antonia Terzi, former chief aerodynamicist of the BMW-Williams Formula 1 team, the carbon fibre vehicle will "tackle the challenges of mobility, spatial planning, service detail and environmental demands all in one".

Superbus packs lithium polymer battery-powered electric motors producing 530bhp, although it will need a dedicated road system to make use of all that power.

The Dutch have already examined the possibility of linking Amsterdam and Groningen with such a highway, and the designers are eyeing the United Arab Emirates as the first customer outside Europe.

The first Superbus prototype is set to strut its stuff at the Dubai National Exhibition and Convention Centre this weekend, ahead of government tests to see if a proposed plan to whisk passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has legs.

View of the Superbus with its doors open.Pic: Superbus

While Superbus is designed to be light on the planet, it's heavy on technology. It boasts "navigation system, obstacle detection, communication system, fail safe system and control system", plus all the "seat belts, airbags, TV, internet, air-conditioning, heating, etc" you'd expect from an electric stretch limo.

If it does one day hit the streets, passengers will be able to call for a taxi-style pick-up without leaving the comfort of their own home. Terzi explained: "Superbus will have an intelligent routing system rather than a fixed schedule. Commuters will book online or with their mobile phone, and the bus picks them up and drops them at their desired location."

This, the designers promise, will offer a luxury ride "for a fare which is comparable to the prices of present day's public transport". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.