A new dual-mode vehicle (DMV) – which is a bus that can run on both roads and railway tracks – will launch on a route connecting Tokushima and Kochi in Japan.

The versatile vehicle will be the first operational DMV in the world. 

Switching Modes in About 15 Seconds

The world’s first DMV is run by the public-private venture Asa Seaside Railway Corporation.

During test run, the vehicle stopped at a “Mode Interchange” – where in the space of about 15 seconds, the driver switched to train mode with all the passengers still onboard. The DMV hardly vibrated during its transformation from bus to train.

The DMV is a diesel vehicle, but it is cheaper than a diesel locomotive and its fuel economy is about four times better. However, its carrying capacity is only one-fifth.

Along the rail and road line, there are already banners with phrases such as “This town…world’s first [DMV].”