The world’s first dual-mode vehicle, or DMV, which can travel both on highways and railroad tracks, will make its public debut on Saturday in Kaiyo, Japan.
The DMV runs on traditional rubber tires on the road, but also has steel wheels that allow it to easily switch from asphalt to railway tracks, turning the vehicle from a minibus into a train carriage.
The vehicle is operated by Asa Coast Railway Company, which sees it as a way to help small provincial towns like Kaiyo, where local transportation firms are struggling to make ends meet.
“This [vehicle] can reach the locals [as a bus], and carry them onto the railway as well. Especially in rural areas with an aging population, we expect it to be a very good form of public transport,” CEO Shigeki Miura told Reuters on Friday.
The DMV is powered by diesel fuel, can carry up to 21 passengers at a time, and can reach speeds of 60kph on the tracks, and 100kph on the road.
The company will have its new vehicles circulate along the coast of Shikoku in southern Japan.
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