Israel to get world's first hover cars

SkyTran hover car

The Israli city of Tel Aviv is set to test drive a new system that will see cars hover around a looped circuit.

The hover car system will be built at the campus of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), quite apt for such futuristic technology, and it will be constructed by a Californian transport company called skyTran.

SkyTran plan to build a 500 metre track around the IAI campus, and provided that the test is successful the system could be rolled out commercially through Tel Aviv in future years.

The two-man skyTran vehicles will be lightweight and suspended from the 500 metre long magnetic levitation track.

Initially the pilot test vehicles will be quite slow with a top speed of 70km/h, but if the system gets its commercial roll out then the speeds will rise considerable. According to skyTran CEO Jerry Sanders, who spoke to Reuters, the cars could potentially reach speeds of up to 240km/h.

Tel Aviv is the second most populated city in Israel with 414,600 inhabitants, and quite often the roads and transport system can experience considerable gridlocks.

It is hoped that if successful the commercial system will greatly reduce transport problems within the city.

Sanders said in his interview with Reuters: "Tel Aviv is a world city. It's a destination for people around the world. A centre of commerce. Israelis love technology and we don't foresee a problem of people not wanting to use the system. Israel is a perfect test site."

He predicts that the test system will be up and running by 2015 with construction of the circuit set to begin soon in California at the NASA Research Park.

Plans for the first commercial line consist of a 7km long track with three stations that will reportedly cost somewhere in the region of £50 million.

The stations will incorporate all the latest and greatest technology. Commuters will even be able to order their hover car via their smartphone and get it to meet them at a specific station.

SkyTran is planning other hover car projects in India and the United States.