Public transit in the United States hasn't been glamorous since ever, and the urbanization around the world has only increased the pressure to move people efficiently. How those needs led a Dutch team to build an eight-door, 49-foot, electric-powered Superbus capable of 155 mph I can't begin to explain. I'm just glad it can drive in the snow.
The Superbus concept developed by Delft University would use public roads or dedicated lanes to haul up to 23 passengers in carbon-fiber swaddled safety. While the technology would match that from advanced electric cars, the Superbus real Dutch treat is inside, where passengers would get the creature comforts of a first-class airplane seat -- like televisions and Internet access -- rather than the typical U.S. bus experience of plastic seats découpaged with dried gum and carved obscenities.
The project has been underway for five years, and a recent snow in the Netherlands gave the team a chance to test out the anti-lock braking on frozen surfaces, an important hurdle for a 21,000-lb. vehicle. Impressive results, but let's see how those gullwing doors handle a mom trying to fold a stroller in the rain: