First Magnetically Levitating Futuristic Public Transportation Coming Soon

A California based company called Skytran, in cooperation with NASA, is developing the first magnetic levitation (maglev) public transportation system . The futuristic system, developed by Researchers at the NASA Ames Research Center, is comprised of two-seat pods containing a magnet which interacts with a coiled foil in the rail causing the pod to “float” on a cushion of air. This provides not only a smoother ride, but a quieter one as well compared to taxi, bus, and rail.

designed to reduce urban traffic congestion, skytran would provide a greener, less expensive, faster, and more comfortable alternative to cars and bus lines through the use of personal two-seater pods in a point-to-point service which travelers can use to reach specific destinations

Sky Tran

Plans are to eventually outfit the guideways with solar panels which will result in a nearly energy net neutral system. In addition, construction costs are far less than conventional public transit since the guideways are built vertically and will cause smaller and fewer construction zones. The pods are high-speed and can reach up to 150 mph, but will travel closer to 50 mph in city areas.

sky-tran station

Finding a pod will be a lot easier than calling for a taxi and cost about the same. You can request and schedule pods via a smartphone app that lets you enter the pick-up and destination locations beforehand.  The boarding platform will be located on a side ‘acceleration line’ track that prevents traffic jams.

The first of these systems is scheduled to be constructed in Tel Aviv, Israel by 2015 with other future locations in India and Indonesia in consideration.

Images courtesy of designbloom

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