Hop aboard “Futurebus,” a revolutionary public transportation design concept by students that offers a no-contact bus ride during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Designed by an international team that includes Northwestern University student Ryan Teo, Futurebus minimizes contact, uses anti-microbial fabric and features self-sanitizing handles.

Futurebus alters the way passengers hop on and off the bus by combining all ingresses and egresses into a single large sliding door. This allows riders to flow in and out freely without contact.

“We got our inspiration from the dandelion flower,” said Teo, who studies product design, engineering and anthropology as part of the McCormick Integrated Engineering Studies (MIES) program. “The dandelion opens its petals widely, allowing its seeds to be dispersed freely. We wanted to give passengers that same freedom of movement to minimize contact.”

The design also alternates the seating direction and provides dividers for more privacy. The seats are made with an affordable, copper-infused anti-microbial fabric.

In addition, the handles have a stainless-steel tube covered by a disposable plastic wrap. Each time the bus stops, the handle makes a slow 360-degree rotation, allowing the entire surface of the tube to be sterilized by a 254 nanometer UV light strip on the back of the handle.

The design won the top prize in the FourC Challenge, an international design competition sponsored by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Design.

The prize-winning team also included students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Leave a Reply