They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel

Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel

SkyTran—a NASA Space Act company—is finally building a pilot of its computer-controlled, two-person high speed maglev transport system. Cars run 20-feet above the ground and can be ordered by a smartphone app.

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While the initial trial in Israel will only involve a 1,500-feet closed campus loop, the plan is to build something much larger in the near future. My dream commute just got a little step closer.

Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel
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Maglev vehicles are levitated and both lift and thrust are produced by electromagnets.

Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel

Each skyTran car can carry two-people at over 40 miles per hour and can be ordered by smartphone apps. The cost is anticipated to be less than a taxi-ride.

Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel
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The skyTran trial is expected to be up and running by the end of 2015. If it is a success, a commercial roll-out in Tel-Aviv and other major global cities may follow.

Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel
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Illustration for article titled They are building the first personal maglev transport system in Israel
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DISCUSSION

I really hope this gets off the ground, finally. SkyTran was first proposed by Doug Malewicki (inventor of the Robosaurus) back in 1990 and I've been following it almost as long. This system has tons of possibilities beyond commuting because it's far cheaper and less disruptive to it's surroundings than large commuter trains. Imagine being able to tour Yellowstone from one of these pods? The final version of this will also take you where you want to go directly because of a grid like track structure. It will have the ability to switch tracks on the fly. It's not just a simple "route" like trains and buses we have today.

I just have a feeling that it's like the Moller Skycar though. A great idea that will be studied and talked about for decades but never come to the real world. I hope I'm wrong.