Skytran: The Next Step in Urban Transportation?
It’s obvious that the heavy urban traffic needs a serious solution. Now a company called Skytran claims to be the solution. This one seems to be right out of the minds of science fiction writers and might have the potential to be a good alternative to chauffeur services. It has been touted as a traffic killer but looking at the current design models by the company it is hard to judge its efficiency yet.
Skytran claims that it takes fraction of the cost to set up in comparison to high speed rail network. Passengers sit in a two person capsule which may be called “Podcars” or “Skycars”. These cars are suspended on a single rail and runs on magnetic levitation principle. The service can be ordered using a Smartphone app.
The company claims Skytran are the easiest to set up as they can be suspended on easily assemble able single bar track and are also environment friendly as they have no emission. The cars will need tiny stations to drop off the passengers. Each car will travel non-stop between the pick-up and destination system.
To counter what can easily become a claustrophobic experience, the Skycars have huge windows and LCD screens in front of them. The interior design looks cool; it’s the closest experience to sitting in a fighter jet cockpit. The view outside though, will depend on which city it is installed in.
Skytran is a Nasa Space Act Company so it has an access to giant repository of technical know-how but still can’t conjure up even basic graphics. The graphics on the company’s website look like they’ve been made by an amateur graphics artist.
There are a couple of issues with this system that seems quite ambiguous. There isn’t a lot of information about how they plan an all-weather functionality. The safety and emergency features are also not mentioned. These are some important issues on which the company has to clearly state its policy as the cars are responsible for human lives.
Israel plans to install the first working model of Skytran by the end of 2016. India is also going to be a part of this experiment; Kerala is the first state to be the first to welcome Skytran in its transit systems. Currently it doesn’t look like the god-send solution to traffic as it claims to be. The Israeli experiment will prove the might of the system. It is yet to see if it’s a revolutionary idea or just another Railplane which was installed, proved unsuccessful and was later dismantled in the 1950’s.