What was once considered an image of the future is now looking rather bleak, this article is going to summarize the evolution of the ‘super bus’ so far.
The world was surprised, yet excited when the suggestion of the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) was announced; the idea of a bus that would straddle the road whilst a number of traffic filled lanes flowed below had the public and more importantly, investors, drooling at the prospect. Even so, this is a venture that must be decades away, right? Wrong, in early August a prototype of the Super-Bus was tested in northern China.
However, just when people all around the globe began to get excited, the story collapsed. According to China’s state media, which was one of the big supporters of the project, the whole scheme has just been one big publicity stunt… something that is becoming increasingly common in China and is damaging investor relations. So rather than being a symbol of how China can lead the world on technological fronts, the Bus
is a reminder of the caution that must sometimes be applied when investing into the Chinese market.
The advocates of TEB have been criticized for promising investors unrealistic returns of 12%, due to the fact the prototype was not exactly confidence-filling in its run out. Onlookers said ‘the bus
seemed likely to tip over, couldn't clear most urban bridges and wasn't tall enough to accommodate most vehicles underneath it’ not exactly pleasant reading for the promoters of TEB.
Although only a recent revelation, the idea behind TED has actually been in the air for a considerable amount of time. In 2010, the inventor of TED claimed it was to take part in a trial; however, this trial was cancelled after doubts were raised over the technology being used and the integrity of the people behind it and from that point on the idea was buried.
This was until last year… when a property developer that goes by the name of Bai Zhiming took advantage of the thriving peer-to-peer lending industry currently gathering momentum in China and raised $26 million after promising the unrealistic returns to investors. Unsurprisingly since the investments were made, 200 of those investors are now demanding refunds after being miss-sold the investment. You would presume that a considerable number of those investors have pulled out since the prototype trial took place and the state media decided to turn their back on the project.
The project is not exactly dead and buried but with investors pulling out quicker than they are coming in and state media turning their backs on something they previously supported, you have to question what the future holds for the Super-Bus
. I for one can see a future for it… just not for a very, very, very long time.