Jerry Sanders, part innovator part mad-scientist known for founding SkyTran, a cutting-edge NASA Space Act company, gave everyone a glimpse into the future on day 1 of THiNK 2013. SkyTran is an elevated, ultra high-speed, transportation system that can seem like something from the pages of a sci-fi novel. But ambitious and innovative as it may be, will it create more disparity between the haves and the have-nots? Will it litter the skies even more? How we can move from snail-slow traffic to speeds of 100 to 200 kms without having to stop anywhere but the desired destination? These are some of the questions Sanders dealt with in the session.
Sanders spoke about how being stuck in traffic was one of the most stressful and time wasting things that we as a civilization impose upon ourselves. “You really can’t get from here to there unobstructed with the existing modes of transportation,” said Sanders.
“Traffic congestion costs the US government 63 billion dollars and in India it amounts to 10 billion dollars. In our fast growing urbanising world, this not a good sign. Buddha said it is better to travel than to arrive, I’m here to tell you that we can travel and arrive with SkyTran.”
Sanders noted that surface transport by its very definition is inherently unsafe. This mystical ‘Alladin’s carpet’ can be the way forward. With SkyTran, no one boards the system unless the system knows the person who is boarding the Tran. One of the most compelling things about the SkyTran, said Sanders, is that it doesn’t stop unless the commuter directs it to. SkyTran is safe, low on cost and environment friendly too; and it’s even more substantial than the hybrid car or the electric car.
Sanders emphasised how SkyTran is ‘green’ across the board because it is an elevated transportation, and how it can effectively support high paying ‘green’ jobs, blue collar or white collar professions and other high tech jobs in the market. At a time when public transportation all over the world is losing money the SkyTran with its innovation and inexpensive operational cost is a viable profit-making entity.
By Donna Mathew