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Posted on 01-09-2017

Meet China's TEB-1, is it a cure for road congestion and will it help to decrease auto accident injuries?

As all of my avid blog readers are aware, I am a Baltimore Chiropractor that spends the majority of my clinic time diagnosing and treating ailments of the head, neck, and back primarily. Although I am not limited to diagnosing and treating injuries just within the spine, these are the types of injuries that we typically see, especially given the high number of Baltimore auto accident injury patients that come through the doors every day. Since I focus my clinical practice on injuries associated with Baltimore car accidents, I try and stay up on news both locally and globally about how we can cut down on road congestion and how we can decrease or eliminate injuries resulting from auto accidents.

A few months ago I came across an idea out of China that I found interesting. A Chinese company created a "flying bus" in what is being called TEB-1, or Transit Elevated Bus-1. In many ways it is more like a tram than a bus, since it is affixed to a track below. The TEB-1 stands at about 16 feet tall and can straddle two entire lanes of traffic, while still clearing the roadway below by approximately seven feet. The passenger compartment is said to be roomy as it is approximately 72 feet long and 26 feet wide and capable of holding in excess of 300 passengers at a time. It has been stated that as many as 4 of these TEB-1s can be combined together almost like a train and they can hold over 1000 passengers at a time in that configuration.

While it is certainly something to behold visually, the question remains whether or not it can work in very congested cities in China. And furthermore, the question is whether or not major metropolitan areas in the U.S. would accept it as a means to decreasing road congestion and resulting injuries.

There are just a few problems remaining with the TEB-1 that need to be overcome before we can expect to see it in our neck of the woods

1. Clearance - At just over seven feet of street clearance, this device is just too short to traverse our roads with so many trucks and SUVs. It seems like an easy fix to raise it up another few feet, though.

2. Designated lanes - It would potentially be very costly to rework the framework of most major American cities to install the tram that the TEB needs to roll on. And how to we designate which lanes the TEB will operate in and where motorists can drive in or out of the lanes? That, in addition to the fact that it allegedly can not make 90 degree turns makes this bus seem more like a distant possibility than a short term reality.

3. Power - The TEB is an electric vehicle. While great for the world given its small hydrocarbon footprint, there will be some problems surrounding how to keep it charged enough to make its rounds each day. There has been some discussion about whether or not outfitting the TEB with solar panels will help ease its electricity demand, but some engineers suspect that it will have to be recharged at each stop in order to make all of its rounds on a given day. Who knows, maybe Elon Musk can engineer its batteries?

4. Cost - The estimated cost to construct at TEB is approximately 4.5 million dollars. That's considered pretty expensive given that its approaching the cost of 11 emissions free buses that can ride around off of a designated track. That is, it may be a solution that is not currently better than what we are already accustomed to using.

I, for one, enjoy engineering marvels and I hope that we can see improvements in mass transit in major cities such as Baltimore. I would support any technological development that decreases road congestion and the likelihood of Baltimore auto accident injuries.

If you want to see some videos of the TEB in action click here or here.

In the meanwhile, if you, or someone you know, has been injured in a Baltimore auto accident and have headaches, neck pain or back pain, please contact Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic at (443) 842-5500. We would be happy to help!

Dr. Gulitz

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