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Russia's new tram is a Batmobile on the outside, tech hub on the inside

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 13, 2014
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Many trams are memorable, but they tend to evoke nostalgia rather than embrace the future. You can't accuse UralVagonZavod (UVZ) of being behind the times with its new Russia One, though. To begin with, it looks like the Batmobile on a closed track -- and for good reason. The forward-tilted windshield helps the conductor spot pedestrians, while the glass composite panels are easy to replace. The tram is cutting-edge on the inside, too. Dynamic LED lighting and music change the cabin mood to suit the time of day. You'll also find positioning (GPS and GLONASS), air conditioning, anti-bacterial hand rails and WiFi. The driver even gets a USB 3.0 port that can keep a phone powered up.

Don't count on hopping aboard one of these mass transit marvels when they go into production, which should be sometime in 2015. As the Russia One name implies, this machine is partly about national pride; UVZ believes the vehicle will primarily be used in major Russian cities. Exports to Eastern Europe and South America aren't more than possibilities at this stage. Nonetheless, it's a big step forward for a form of public transportation that doesn't get a lot of love -- and it's probably the first tram that would make Bruce Wayne proud.

[Thanks, Josh]

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