Israel to run World’s first SkyTran technology. The country is known for being technologically advanced. Being the second largest start up center after Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv concentrates a great number of entrepreneurs, skills, creativity and investment.
It has been recently announced that the city of Herzliya is receiving the World’s first Maglev (Magnetic levitation technology) public transport system, the SkyTran. The pilot system could be an important step towards improving city congestion in a cost effective manner and reduce pollution.
The technology is astonishing. It consumes low electricity as the pods move through the rail using magnetic levitation (Maglev). There is no energy required to keep the pods elevated and only an initial burst of electricity to get each pod moving. The construction cost is also one tenth of traditional light rail projects.
In addition, the pods are available upon request and there are no schedules and timetables. Hence you don’t need to wait at a particular stop and get off along the way. Using an app on your phone you can request the pod at your closest station, and the pod will take you directly to your destination, without the need to stop along the way.
When completed, SkyTran will be the World’s first aerial maglev used for public transport. It will carry two people in a pod looking capsule achieving speeds of 70 km/h. It is claimed that the pod can achieve up to 240 km/h and carry 12 thousand people per track per hour.
The municipality of Herzliya is working with Israel Aerospace Industries and the Californian company, SkyTran, to implement the technology in Israel. The project was originally developed by inventor Douglas Malewicki in the 1990’s, but the idea has never taken off. Since 2008 the involvement of NASA has further advanced its development.
The construction will start this year and is expected to have a pilot track running by the end of 2016. The first line will go from Herzliya train station to the marina, but there are plans for subsequential expansion. According to SkyTran CEO, Jerry Saunders “Israelis love technology and we don’t foresee a problem of people not wanting to use the system…”.