Made On Earth — Bus(t) a Move

Craft & Design


Superbus is a 49-foot-long, astronaut-designed carrier that hauls more than 20 passengers and tops out around 155mph. If Batman carpooled to work, this would be his ride.

It’s powered by a 300kW electric motor, which roughly translates to 400 horsepower, backed by a lithium polymer battery pack. It even makes use of regenerative braking.

With its driving range of 125 miles, the Superbus won’t get you that far out of Gotham (sorry, Batman), but its couch-like comfort, internet access, and TVs for every passenger give it all the perks of flying first class without that awkward TSA pat-down.

The limo-esque vehicle was constructed using state-of-the-art, super-light carbon fiber and cost $19 million to build. A design team from the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology unveiled the Superbus earlier this year in Dubai at a public transportation exhibition. The team includes astronaut Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch citizen to make it into space; Antonia Terzi, who worked on the BMW WilliamsF1 racing team; and aerospace engineer Joris Melkert.

“The Superbus can drive everywhere a normal bus can drive,” explains Ockels. In fact, its four rear wheels turn independently of each other, giving the vehicle a turning radius of about 41 feet.

That’s impressive agility considering its unwieldy stature, but nevertheless its high speeds require extra safety measures. So passengers have their own individual airbags, and the vehicle uses an onboard radar system to detect obstacles.

The prototype took seven years to build, and if it passes government inspection, it will soon be cruising around the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai or Bust:

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