4 Problems With The Elevated Bus Concept

Many a magazine enthusiastically covered the idea of the elevated bus concept from China.

The concept in itself though is riddled with problems which seem rather hard to solve

1. Lane changes & turns 
Imagine the cars under the bus trying to take a turn or change into the lanes which aren't straddled by the bus. The bus could move in behind you, while you transited into these adjacent lane. The car will either get crushed or dragged along for a distance and then simply spun around.

Many such lane maneuvers could become catastrophic. At a traffic light, you'll most probably never be able to take a turn that you wished to and will simply have to stick to the lane the bus is on; unless of course you decide to wait until the entire bus has gone past you.

2. Gauging speed & movement
Typically, the human brain gauges speed based on fixed elements in the surroundings. It gives you an idea of your speed and your speed, relative to the another vehicle moving against the very same fixed visual elements.

Basically, all perception of speed is relative.

Now imagine being under the bus and the bus pillars moving across on both sides of your car. Your only reference is this bus itself. The bus could speed up or slow down, but you'll be lacking all external visual cues of how fast or slow you are actually travelling. To be more specific, you will have visual cues, but they'll be all wrong and under constant flux. Anyone whose vision is completely blocked will have a hard time deciding between breaking or speeding.

3. Underbelly height margin
The free space under the bus is planned to be 2 meters high, which should be perfectly safe for cars, but this would mean that not a single bus or truck could be  plying on the road when the bus passes by. The elevated bus will simply have to keep pace with whatever is the slowest tall vehicle it comes into.

If they decide to keep trucks off the bus underbelly, it would mean that there will be at least two lanes where only cars can ply. And that is why this snip below shows no trucks on the road.

In city areas, or even on highways as a matter of fact, the no truck policy is simply impossible to achieve.

4. The bus is now on you and now it isn't
Even if one of the cars is slightly off center to the lane, there is a high chance that the bus pillar crashes into the car as it goes over it. People under the bus will need to practice precision lane driving.

Now imagine this when the bus is on a bend due to a turn and you are under it. The second the bus comes over, you'll suddenly lose all visual cues of your speed, and you'll have to carefully try and steer your car at the the same angle as that of the bus above.

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