Are the days of crippling traffic jams, heavy air pollution in the city centers and long lines of annoyed passengers finally over?
SkyTran, a NASA Space Act company from California, created a patented, computer-controlled 2-person (passengers sit one behind the other) futuristic passenger pods – a monorail and a maglev, using cutting-edge SkyTran Magnetic Levitation (STML) technology. It's fast, safe and environmentally friendly. Above all that, it's also affordable.
Installing the system, however, will be rather expensive, but the company argues it's still cheaper than building certain highways. SkyTran believes it will cost between $7 million and $10 million a mile, but that is not yet to be taken for granted. The company will put their system to the test in Tel Aviv, Israel, with tickets that are supposedly cost as much as a traditional bus ride.
The SkyTran system is taking transport above instead of below. The pods, capable of traveling with a speed of up to 150 mp/h, hang from an overhead rail, using maglev. Each pod has its on individual route, choosing the fastest one in order to reach its destination as soon as possible. It's a very smart form on transport – among other things, it can bypass another pod that is kept at the station for too long. Commuters can board the first pod that shows up, without worrying about arrival and departure times at specific stations.
Another interesting feature about SkyTran is that its tracks can run through buildings like train tracks run through tunnels. We imagine that larger companies will probably opt to have a station installed in their business building to help their employees reach their morning destination directly, which would save them a lot of time.
The system would be a great asset to any larger urban environment as it leaves zero harmful emissions, it's cheap and reliable.