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SkyPod design

14 September 2016

Elon Musk has challenged the world to build the hyperloop. A challenging and expensive task.  I have a counter challenge for Elon to test this technical concept

How we commute has a big effect on our happiness.  People that drive to work through traffic congestion are affected the worst as it can be a stressful experience that has become routine for us.  This SkyPod design is aimed at increasing the life happiness and reducing the stress for these people.

After you’ve caught the Hyperloop to your destination city you will need a way to get from the hyperloop station to your final destination. 

Modes of transport that use the road such as Uber or Buses have limited efficiency due to waiting at traffic lights, traffic congestion and driver overheads.

Current modes of transport that have their own dedicated network such as trains have limited efficiency due to waiting times between trains, limited routes, distance between the stations and your final destination, and limited operating hours.

SkyPod is a proposal for a new mode of transportation that resolves these inefficiencies.  It consists of a lightweight rail network elevated above existing roads with individual electric passenger pods which can carry up to four passengers.

All components of the network would be prefabricated using standard designs and bolted together onsite during construction.

SkyPod Stations consist of:

  • An elevated platform

  • Elevators to the ground level

  • Platform screen doors between the tracks and the platform

  • Individual spurs off the main line to dock each pod – pods need to stop and reverse to enter a dock

  • RFID card access only to elevators during offpeak for additional security

  • Integration to ios/android app for passengers to specify a destination station and being allocated to a pod


SkyPod tracks:

  • Elevated above existing roadways

  • Support structures can either on both sides of road or in centre depending on road layout

  • Modern steel and cement design

  • Much smaller structure than typical overhead rail due to using lightweight pods and one way traffic design

  • Rail network will be laid out in a grid design

  • Cross intersections where pods travelling perpendicular to each other are interleaved to maintain flow

  • Traffic will be one way, with each adjacent track operating in the opposite direction

  • Supply electricity to the pods

Pods consist of:

  • Electric motors

  • Onboard computer and sensors

  • Recharble Batteries to allow sections of track to not have overhead wires

  • Fit up to four adult passengers

  • Air conditioning unit

  • Aerodynamic design


Efficiency considerations 

If the external length of a pod is 3 meters,  and pods maintain a distance of 20 meters between each other on a track, and the pods travel at 60kmph, a single track will support carrying up to 2600 pods per hour, or 10400 passengers per hour.

Example track configuration

Can be expanded to different shapes while keeping the one way grid concept.  Passengers travelling from one station to another may need to travel further than if the tracks where bidirectional, however having one way tracks greatly simplifies intersecting tracks, and reduces the costs of building the network.

A closer look at the intersections.


The tracks are one way.   Pods travelling vertically and horizontally can be interleaved to avoid collisions and eliminate the need of slowing down or stopping.  Turning pods would either slow down or stop completely on the curved track, and then join the perpendicular track when an empty space is available.  Computers can predict the turns to ensure no turning pods block the main tracks.

Copyright 2016 - Stephen Mann

One Scientifically Proven Thing Actually Makes People Happier
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