The presentation of the Superbus during the Olympic Games in Beijing is off. Additional rules imposed by the Chinese government make a proper presentation impossible, according to programme supervisor Prof. Dr. Wubbo Ockels. The broken dream was the result of gradual insight, Ockels explains. The Chinese government kept imposing additional rules to control the traffic in and around Beijing during the Olympic Games. Registration number checks will be used to see who is allowed onto the roads. On top of that there is the experimental nature of the Superbus, which does not fit into any existing category. Ockels’ understanding was that all that Superbus would be allowed to do was to sit there on a stack of pallets, a meagre presentation that did not merit the sizable investment. In consultation with the president of TU Delft’s Executive Board, Dirk Jan van den Berg, it has been decided to forego the Olympic Games presentation. Ockels denies rumours that the Superbus would not have been ready for the presentation. It is a governmental problem, he summarizes.
As a result, a strategic change was made within the Superbus programme. The team decided to take advantage of the cancellation of Beijing, and started to build a test mule. A test mule, in the automotive industry, is a vehicle equipped with experimental and prototype components for testing. With the help of the mule, automakers evaluate aspects of vehicles before a full pre-production car is built. The Superbus team wants to do a series of tests runs with the mule before starting the assembly of the demonstrator vehicle.