Delft University of Technology
TU Delft is developing the Superbus concept for public transportation that uses high speed (150 - 250 km/h), electric powered, aerodynamic, "intelligent", road driven busses to offer on-demand point-to-point services. Passengers can reserve a spot on the vehicle on the Internet or by text messaging their personal phone. Superbus will go directly to the passengers' destinations thus eliminating unnecessary stops and mileage. The vehicles operate at normal speeds on existing roadways, and will operate at high speeds on newly constructed Supertracks, which will be geothermically heated roadways specifically designed for Superbus vehicles. Each vehicle will have roughly 30 seats and an individual door for each seat. All of the intelligence and high-technology is concentrated in the vehicle, leaving the infrastructure simple and at low cost. As the life cycle of the vehicle is short, newly developed technologies can be rapidly implemented, assuring an up-to-date Superbus sytem. The team hopes to have a prototype built for demonstrations at the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing.
Traditionally, gas-guzzling buses run a pre-determined route on a regular schedule. Superbuses, however, only operate when passengers request service and they have no pre-determined route. Eliminating unnecessary driving will save energy. When the busses are needed, they will be powered by hybrid electric or pure electric power trains. Replacing the bus fleet of an entire city or town with Superbuses will be an extensive project and will greatly increase the amount of clean energy used in that particular city or town. The reduced requirement for infrastructure saves cost and reduces the environmental impact, while the system is open to adaptation to sociographical changes.
Individuals who live in areas that use Superbuses will benefit access to convenient public transportation at a low cost.Society will benefit efficient transportation. Also, communities that adopt Superbuses early will become leaders in clean energy transportation and receive recognition for their efforts. The economy will thrive because people all parts of the service area can reach their destinations without hassle, which will result in more people going outside of their local areas to spend their money. The low cost if the Superbus system is a major economic benefit. The environmental benefits of the project are a both decrease in fuel consumption and decrease of infrastrucure, and therefore air pollution emissions, eithe directly or indirectly (both greenhouse gas emissions and other hazardous air pollutants that cause smog and are a risk to human health).
The project will result in on-demand public transportation that runs on clean energy. Since public buses share the road with cars, people will see the state-of-the-art vehicles on their daily commute. Exposure alone will help people realize that clean energy is a possiblity while the stylisch appearance and luxury services will attract people to swith form their cars to Superbus.
Individual - Individuals that have access to Superbuses will likely enjoy their experience with electric buses. If these individuals associate electric powered buses with a positive and experience they will likely become advocates of other clean energy programs. By synchronizing with communication technologies, Superbus can utilize the momentum popular communications trends, like text messaging, to get people excited about their new transportation technology. Society - If Superbus systems are adopted, large communities of people will be exposed to the clean energy transportation technologies, and society will become more familiar and comfortable with clean energy. Familiarity will clean energy will lead to acceptance of clean energy. Economy - Superbuses are effective at using clean energy and they are inexpensive to build and operate. The system will not be burdensome on the economy.Environment - Buses can create a lot of noise and air pollution, especially if emissions are not regulated. The new Superbuses will be quite, and will have limited or no emissions. Replacing fleets of dirty buses with clean buses definitely improves environmental conditions on the ground (less smog, smells, and noise) and in the atmosphere (fewer greenhouse gas emissions will help combat global warming).
Ecological - Superbuses will be powered by electricity and will only operate when they are needed, so air pollution emissions will be limited. Limiting air pollution (both greenhouse gases and other hazardous pollutants) will help combat climate change and protect our existing ecosystems.Social - Superbuses will provide superior public transportation allowing individuals to have more time for themselves. Economical - Superbuses are not nearly as expensive as rail-based transportatioin, but they could provide superior service. It is therefore economical to choose the less expensive, more effecitve altrenatve.
The program helps leverage clean energy in the transportation sector. The project is influential because almost every city or town in the world uses busses to transport people. If Superbus concepts of aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, and eliminated mileage reach all parts of the world the effects could be profound. The Superbus project is stepping up and creating an environmentally responsible and technologically advanced bus for the next era.The program has educational leverage. The Superbus is being developed at a university where aspiring young people will learn how to use clean energy effectively.