Dresden has unveiled the Autotram Extra Grand, an unfeasibly long bus meant to revolutionize public transport systems – combining the capacity of a train with the manoeuvrability of a bus. It’s 30 metres long, has two waists, and can carry 256 passengers along busy urban streets anywhere. Not only that, the Autotram can be driven by any bus driver – no special license needed.
Designed and built by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI in Dresden and the Technical University Dresden, the bus is currently undergoing tests in special facilities outside the city, but is set to make its debut in Dresden traffic – on normal routes with real passengers – in October.
“There is a lot of know-how invested in it – the computer is driven by a pretty clever steering algorithm,” Matthias Klingner, the institute’s director told The Local. The Autotram comes with a special steering system on its four regulated axles, which ensures that the back sections of the bendy-bus precisely follow the front section.
“Thanks to this patented multiple axis steering, the vehicle can manoeuvre just as easily as a 12-metre bus, forwards as well as backwards,” an institute statement said.