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.