The world’s first dual-mode vehicle (DMV) that looks like a minibus has started operating in the town of Kaiyo in Tokushima Prefecture in Japan.
From a bus to train, the whole transformation takes only 15 seconds
While on-road, the DMV runs on normal rubber tyres. But when it approaches tracks, steel wheels descend from its underbelly onto the rail track and propel it onto the railway. This turns the vehicle into a train carriage, making it equally at home on road or train tracks.
Shigeki Miura, CEO of the Asa Coast Railway Company that launched the Toyota Coaster-based Dual Mode Vehicle said “This (DMV) 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.”
Besides helping ferry commuters from isolated areas, the DMV will also be a tourist attraction
The DMV runs along part of the coast of Shikoku island in southern Japan where passengers can enjoy the scenic beauty.
No one should expect a high speed from the DMV
It can reach 37 mph on train tracks and 62 mph on the roads with 21 passengers on board. The vehicle is propelled by a turbodiesel engine.