The night bus

Wednesday, 12 July 2006

One of the most ambitious projects currently being developed at the TU in Delft, in the Netherlands, is the Superbus project (Dutch page, sorry). This state-of-the-art bus has the aerodynamic properties of a Formula 1 racing car, can reach incredible cruising speeds and is highly flexible and customizable, compared to tradional public transport vehicles. I have a nice blue brochure lying next to me right now, here are some of the details (I shall freely translate them into English):

  • “The Superbus will come and pick you up, close to your home and at a time when you want to go somewhere.”
  • “The Superbus can be summoned at any time, for example by sending a text message with your mobile phone”
  • “When all the other passengers have been collected, the Superbus will drive onto the Superlane and accelerate to 250 km/h”
  • “The Superbus uses a radar system to identify objects 300 meters ahead, so it can avoid them

Isn’t this *just* like the Night Bus as used by Harry Potter in “The Prisoner of Azkaban”!? So how right was Arthur C. Clarke, when he said: – “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
But alas, stranded muggles will have to wait until the year 2015, when the first modern “Night Bus” will be taken into service ;)