Is it a bus or a train? This dual-mode mini train is both. The JR Hokkaido Railway Company in Japan has been testing a bus that can switch between steel wheels and street-ready rubber tires, tooling around on the train track as a solo vehicle and avoiding accidents with satellite assistance, and then driving on city streets just like any other bus.
After its successful test run last month, the company vows to make its first trip with paying passengers next April. In addition to its versatility, the vehicle's $150,000 cost is just a seventh of the price of a conventional diesel rail car, and it's easier and cheaper to maintain, too. When these babies hit the road, every street wil be a potential train station.