While Sydney and Melbourne struggle to sort out access to their main airports (and quite a few other public transport inefficiencies) a contact in the UAE draws attention to the all-electric 250 kmh 23 passenger Superbus project to link Abu Dhabi to Dubai and their respective airports.

It needs to be said at the outset, he is far from convinced, and given the glacial speed at which it is being considered in Abu Dhabi, it seems this view might be held at a government level too.

Your electric catapiller is ready

The project is described here and there are a number of YouTubes like the one below that show the Superbus dawdling its surprisingly noisy way around the Delft University where it has been designed and developed, as well as dealing at cautious low speed with the sweeping bends of a raceway.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyG6P_P2958[/youtube]

But the technology is interesting, especially when battery technology is claimed to be advancing towards efficiencies where it could be used in hybrid or all electric airliner designs.

The problems with Australian airport applications are obvious if the plan is to use dedicated superbus ways as proposed for Abu Dhabi-Dubai services, since that involves land acquisitions and corridors that could be far more efficiently used by rail which could also host other public transport rail services.

And the length of the vehicle and its turning radius seem incompatible with most city hotels, not to mention access roads.  The one thing that instantly appeals however is the gull wing doors to each row of triple seats. Now if only Airbus or Boeing could do the same for the next all new inter city designs for the airliners which will eventually completely replace 737s and A320s.  The funny thing is most urban trains in the UK and many of the tram designs used in Australian in last century featured precisely the same ease of access.

Just like the good old days, the Superbus is easy to access.
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