Japan tests combo bus-train

Switches from rails to street in 10 seconds

Pink Tentacle

The Japanese are giving an entirely new meaning to the term "hybrid vehicle" with a combination train-bus.

Interestingly, the Hokkaido Railway Company has dubbed it the "DMV" for "dual-mode vehicle." (We hope that the abbreviation won't be as despised as the other DMV that we know all too well.)

The 28-passenger train-bus "looks like a minibus and runs both on conventional railway tracks and paved roads was tested on the Gakunan railway in Fuji city (Shizuoka prefecture) on the night of November 24," according to Tokyo-based Pink Tentacle. "The vehicle stopped at a railroad crossing, retracted the railroad wheels and switched to street mode in a mere 10 seconds."

If Hollywood ever wants to portray an aging 007, this could replace the Aston Martin--perhaps with a seniors' pass replacing the license to kill.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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