The Israel Aerospace Industries campus near Tel Aviv will soon host an experimental new method of urban travel, developed by a company that wants to change how people get around large cities.
The skyTran system uses high speed two-person ‘pods’ that levitate on a magnetic field to keep them floating above a track.
On Tuesday, IAI’s Lahav Division director Yosef Melamed and skyTran CEO Jerry Sanders signed an agreement to enter into the joint project.
SkyTran, based at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, hopes to one day build a full working system in Tel Aviv.
“The support afforded by IAI is a breakthrough for skyTran,” Sanders said. “IAI, as a world-class designer of aircraft and avionics, is the perfect partner to take skyTran from concept to construct.”
Engineers will use the project to test and fine-tune the system in preparation for installation in the city. The demonstration track, which will be several hundred meters long, is two years away from completion; there is as yet no schedule for beginning construction on the Tel Aviv system.
According to the planners, the SkyTran system will provide a cheaper, faster, more environmentally friendly and comfortable alternative to cars and buses, reducing congestion and pollution in Israel’s largest metropolitan area.