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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

SkyTran air taxis make debut in Israel

If you feel tired of dealing with traffic congestion on the road. Soon maybe you will not experience it. SkyTran is an air mass transit system in the form of a car that is magnetically rolled 20-30 feet above the ground along elevated tracks.

A Mountain View-based company, SkyTran has developed a system over the last five years. The pilot project will made debut in Tel Aviv at the end of October. This system will go as far as 900 feet above the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries, which partnered with SkyTran to develop these cars.
Jerry Sanders, CEO of SkyTran, with the magnetically-operated SkyTran car. (Picture from: http://cnnmon.ie/1XoGwC2)
Initially, only one car that will run on the track on debut later. This taxi can accommodate up to four people. The trip by taxi can travel up to speeds of 60 mph. SkyTran expects to add more cars to debut. If all goes well, the company hopes to expand the system to three other Israeli cities, and some cities in the United States in 2018.

Mode of transport is cheaper and simpler to build than the railroads and the subway - and also more environmentally friendly, said Jerry Sanders, SkyTran CEO.

"This is why we think it's important SkyTran to be a public transport system," he said, adding that the underground system can cost between $ 100 million and $2 billion per kilometer.

"The surface system is more expensive and takes a lot of energy with the magnitude of the infrastructure, as well as the carbon footprint," he said.

Meanwhile, SkyTran only costs about $8 million per kilometer, and to produce a car only costs between $25,000 - $30,000. "It also uses one-third the energy of a hybrid car," said Sanders.

Compared with the cost of maintenance and expansion of existing mass transportation system, Sanders said SkyTran cheaper to urban areas. SkyTran system made of steel and aluminum. Sanders said the whole system can be assembled and installed in a matter of days.

The system uses magnetic levitation technology to move the car. In other words, electromagnets lift and forced to push the car forward, which makes energy-efficient systems. This technology is very useful in countries, where electricity is unreliable.

Sanders explained that several cities in the United States have expressed interest in SkyTran system, including Baltimore and Inglewood, California. SkyTran hopes to start building the system in Baltimore next year.

"One of the two cities can have the next pilot system immediately," he said, adding that major airports such as Paris' Charles de Gaulle is also considering it.
Head of Google (GOOG) Eric Schmidt, seek the cooperation of a venture fund for investing millions of dollars in SkyTran. (Sanders declined to reveal the exact number). With this, he hopes, will legitimize SkyTran system as a transport system that is credible future.. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SKYTRAN | CNN MONEY]
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