PeoplePod(tm) Infopage

photo of peoplepod

The PeoplePod is a maglev concept that features a lightweight, aerodynamic one/two-passenger suspended vehicle that might cost as little as $1 million per mile to build. The vehicle would be constructed of advanced composite materials and the low-cost, lightweight guideway would be formed by a robotic machine on site. A speed of 100 mph is believed to be possible and the service would be non-stop on an extensive network of guideways. It would be collision-proof, non-polluting and have an energy efficiency that is equivalent to 400 mpg, about 1/20 that of conventional autos. The estimated weight of the vehicle is 150-200 pounds, including a superconducting magnet. The vehicle would gain power for levitation and propulsion from the track via an induction pickup. For safety, an anticollision radar would activate hydraulic brake pads that squeeze each side of the T-shaped track. To date, only a 1/8th scale, static model has been constructed as shown below.

[1/8th scale model photo]

Each rider would enter the Pod at a ground-level station, key in the desired destination and sit back while the vehicle was operated by a computer system. An on-board computer would interact with a central control system that would plan routes and manage the movement and storage of the empty vehicles in the system. The contol system would be fully redundant and self-contained.

[sketch of passenger
entering Pod]

Large robotic machines are proposed for erecting support poles and track. Estimates are that this would allow construction of the network at a rate of 1 mile per day. Installing the PeoplePod would be more like installing power line systems that roadbuilding, according to the inventor, Douglas Malewicki. No description of the switching method is available at this time, yet it appears that switches would be needed as off-line stations are contemplated as shown below.

[sketch of PeoplePod system
in use]

More details on the PeoplePod concept can be obtained as follows:

Douglas Malewicki, Aerovisions, Inc., 14962 Merced Circle, Irvine, California 92714; Ph (949) 559-7113/4; Fax: (949) 289-0216; A People Pod website has been developed recently and provides much more detail for those interested.


Last modified: November 27, 1998