BTW: I'm BackKijk wrote: We've seen lots of em... Designers that say they've found THE sollution to the traffic problems in cities... Computer piloted smarts, underground rails with small cars, flying cars with panning propellers... Doug Malewicki knows them as well and he knows as no other how hard it is to get such a plan into motion. But he's no quitter and tries to sell his designs to everyone that's interested. He states that his SkyTran will "end traffic jams for once and for all".
The most important reason that people will not let go of their car, is, according to Malewicki, that the train, tram and other public transportation services are not profitable enough and do not provide the same comfort. SkyTran will stay closer to the car. "People will only step out of their cars when they get means of transportation that are the same... But quicker. If they only need 5 minutes to walk to SkyTran, and can race to the city with 160 km/h and will then have to walk 5 more minutes to the office, most people will think: Why use to car and get me in all kinds of problems?"
The system of this American is based on a Maglev-rail, but a little bit different. The adjusted version, first introduced with the name Induc-Track, was developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Malewicki calls it 'Passive Magnetic Levitation'. Het uses a hybrid system of wheels and magnetic propulsion. And that makes the system cheaper than most other 'hovertrains'. At a station (more like a busstop) the cars will stand on wheels. And when they reach a speed of around 4 km/h, magnetic propulsion takes over and the wheels will get off the rails.
The cars only weigh 90 kilo's and can transport 2 persons each. The total weight won't get above 320 kilo's, according to the designer. That makes sure that the rails and the construction where these rails will be attached to, can be built relatively lightly. Thus, according to Malewicki, the system won't use up many valuable square kilometers on the ground.
For now, the American hopes to get money so he can build a single rail somewhere, to prove the system works. After that, he would like to build a three dimensional system. The east-west tracks would be at around 6 meters off the ground, the north south tracks, around 9 meters. Each 800 meters, a connect would have to be constructed.
The question with all these developements is: who would be willing to invest millions in a system that still has to prove itself? It could become a very expensive failliure. And it will still be a problem to the space to build something like this in a city. Even for a small piece of track like this.
Conclusion: We think Malewicki makes very little chance this will work out OK. But the idea is still quite fun.
(sources: http://www.evworld.com , popular science)
This article is from the Dutch magazine KIJK
BTW2: Nice comics, Owen (@ stripcreator.com)