TECH

Hover Cars Are Real And They're Being Built In Tel Aviv

25/06/2014 10:00 BST

Hover cars are every child's dream: the idea of getting into a futuristic pod and being silently thrown from one end of the city to the other. Well now they'll soon be a reality - at least for the population of Tel Aviv - as a company there is building the first full-sized suspended maglev network.

Whilst not strictly hovering in the Back To The Future sense, skyTran's network uses maglev (Magnetic Levitation), AKA fantastically powerful magnets to float the vehicle above the track and also propel it forwards.

One of the biggest advantages of using maglev is the fact there are no moving parts. The vehicle hovers and moves using nothing but powerful electromagnets.

skytran

This in turn reduces the friction that comes from having wheels, which makes maglev vehicles incredibly fast. In fact the fastest recorded speed by a maglev train is 361mph.

SkyTran aren't looking to break any speed records, though they said their system will still be able to achieve a very decent 150mph, not to be sniffed at considering this will be an inner-city commuting network.

Using Watch Dogs style technology you'll be able to call up a pod using your smartphone app, join the grid and then leave the grid at your desired destination.

SkyTran are also keen to point out the safety benefits, not only does the system only allow people on board that it recognises if a break down or accident did occur each pod has enough energy on board to make it to the nearest station.

Partnering with NASA skyTran will have finished the $80m 125-mile network by the end of 2016 with more networks planned for Toulouse in France and San Francisco.