TechSpot: SkyTran Hovering Public Transportation
Public transit is always an issue when discussing a highly populated city. Whether it is buses or taxis, trains or subways, they all pollute a fair amount. Some cities have started to change, such as the popular bicycle system in Paris and other European capitals, but many other cities haven’t bothered. SkyTran, a NASA funded project, is a public transportation system trying to help the pollution, not only in China, but all over the world. Not only could it help the environment, but it is also very fast, lightweight, efficient, cheap and cool-looking.
SkyTran uses magnets to hover in the air, reducing friction, making the pod go really fast. The aerodynamic shape and size help it fly through the air. It might be a little fast for some people (almost as fast as a roller coaster), but the passengers can adjust the speed. Still, speed is important, because if you have been on a bus or train, all those stops really slow you down. On a SkyTran, since you and two other people are the only ones in the pod, you can choose the stops. That makes for a fast, energy efficient commute.
If SkyTran does become a reality, the plan is that the pods will all come out from stations, much like chairlifts at amusement parks. The pods would be magnetically floating near a metal rod, supported by relatively thin metal poles. That way, cars can still drive under it, unlike trains. More space, more convenient. Sounds good, right?
Designed by NASA Ames laboratory in Silicon Valley, California, with the help some start-ups, the SkyTran is a great help to everyone. Whether you are always late, or are worried about the environment, SkyTran is a fascinating transportation idea. Using its solar power, it barely uses any real fuel. Plus, because it is so lightweight, it is really cheap, even cheaper than a bus system. Just imagine, zooming across the city at up to 100mph, going just to where you want to go, no stops. You’ll never have to worry about being late again!