A car equipped with magnetic levitation (maglev) technology has been successfully tested on a highway in China, according to local media.
The 2.8-tonne vehicle was hovering 35 millimeters above the road, propelled by electromagnetic force and guided by pre-installed conducting rails. The test, carried out by researchers at the Jiaotong University of Chengdu, aimed to calculate the feasibility of adopting maglev technology in this manner on a broader scale.
Maglev automobiles have the potential to significantly enhance vehicle durability while simultaneously cutting energy usage and boosting range. In addition, a dedicated lane for maglev cars might also provide safety benefits while also preventing traffic problems.
In recent years, China has emerged as a pioneer in maglev transportation, having presented the first maglev train in Shanghai in 2004. The Shanghai Transrapid is the oldest commercial maglev system still in service and is presently the fastest electric train in the world at a cruising speed of 431kph (268mph) (268mph).
After China debuted a high-speed rail capable of up to 600kph last year, this record might be beaten shortly.
According to Chinese manufacturer CCRC Qingdao, the train will form a “three-hour transportation loop” linking key urban areas, with the 1,068km travel between Beijing and Shanghai lasting only 2.5 hours.
The train might also bridge the “speed gap” between high-speed rail and flying and shorten the time it takes to go from one city center to another compared to plane trips.
The specially-adapted cars reached speeds of 230kph in this week’s maglev car road testing, more than double the speed limit on China National Highway routes.