Elon Musk dreams of building a pod that zips through a steel tube at a blazing speed of 760 miles per hour. But if you just can’t wait seven to 10 years to ride in an egg-shaped capsule, several cities around the world already have pod-transportation systems up and running.
Masdar City, a walled-off area of Abu Dhabi that's in development, has deployed pods to help visitors get around town. London spent $45 million to develop a 2.4-mile track for its pod system at Heathrow Airport. For sea lovers, a design firm in Italy crafted a jet-capsule yacht that fits eight people, which it’s selling for $250,000.
We should expect to see more of these types of driverless transportation systems before the Hyperloop gets off the ground — if it ever does. Tel Aviv may be close to approving a pod system called SkyTran that would whiz above city streets, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. A town in the U.K. called Milton Keynes plans to roll out pods to shuttle people between train stations, offices and the mall in 2015, according to the Daily Mail. Amritsar, India, is supposed to get a similar transportation system, though the Times of India reports that the future of the project is uncertain.
As Musk would attest, getting pod transport right isn’t going to be easy.