SkyTran, a new company from former NASA Engineer Doug Malewick, has a futuristic solution to our current traffic problems—an elevated, self-driving monorail that operates 6 meters (20 feet) in the air. Oh, and it can travel up to 240 kmh (150 mph). Malewicki developed the 300-pound personal pods that will hang from aluminum rails and levitate using gravity, magnets, and (best of all) minimal electricity. Once a pod reaches 10 mph, these methods will be enough to let each pod accelerate and glide without additional power.
According to NASA, the cost of building the infrastructure is only around $13 million per mile. That seems like an exorbitant amount of money, and it certainly isn't cheap; however, it's only a fraction of the traditional subway systems, which costs at least $160 million.
skyTran’s first 900-foot test station is slated to open at Israel Aerospace Industries by the end of the year ,and could expand to countries such as the US, France, and India by as early as 2018.
The Future of Travel
“The only way to get around traffic is to literally go above it,” skyTran CEO Jerry Sanders tells Tech Insider, who sees the skyTran system changing a typical two-hour commute into a brief, 10-minute trip.
In the end, it seems that skyTran presents a more cost-effective answer to the persistent traffic problems that plague our of urban areas today, especially since the transportation concept does not require a lot of space to build. The system’s tracks could run through business districts, airports, and universities to help alleviate the congestion of vehicles (and people) in high traffic areas.