NASA’s SkyTran personal maglev transport to trial in Israel
SkyTran, a personal transport system that whisks tiny two-seater pods around a city on raised maglev rails, is to undergo an official trial next year.
The technology, which has been developed by NASA, allows each pod to travel at up to 40mph, powered solely by electromagnets. Pods can be ordered through a smartphone app, boarded at selected points along the route and rides are expected to cost less than the equivalent taxi fare.
The system has a small physical footprint and rails are only 20 feet off the ground: two factors that theoretically mean it can be installed in heavily built-up cities without demolishing too much of the existing infrastructure.
The trial will be up and running by the end of 2015, but will take place in a small closed loop just 1,500 feet long. If it’s a success, a full commercial version of SkyTran is expected to be rolled out first in Tel Aviv.