If there’s one thing that all science fiction movies have taught us, it is the inevitable fact that roadways and how we use them is not going to remain the same. The future will obviously hold something far more fascinating and intriguing. Some of the options involve maglev trains and self driven pods. Well, how about if we merge these both options and gave you a treat? Finding it too good to be true? Well, think again!
The runner up of 2014 Michelin Challenge has done exactly that; merged maglev trains and self driven pods. The end result is a car that works based on the user’s preference. So if you feel like it, you can drive yourself and if you are too tired to drive, then you may let your ride drive you around. The concept is a brain child from Chuang Dong, Zhen Qiu and Haowen Deng and is being called the AKA24 system. This system is far more than a mere self-driving car. The system comprises of a vehicle which can accommodate one person and is capable of being driven like a conventional vehicle. However, if you don’t feel like driving, just get close enough to a maglev railway line and that’s it. The automatic drive mode will take you where you want to go. Once the user gets in range of a maglev railway track, the car will go into auto mode and shall be pulled towards and flipped onto its side due to the magnetic field and well that’s about it. Oh and by the way, the AKA24 comes with a system which makes sure that the driver seat remains vertical at all times irrespective of position of the vehicle.
The wheels for this system are based on the memory technology which was used in Batman’s cape in the movie “Batman Begins”. These wheels are supposed to transform (contract and fold) and fit into the axle when your ride converts to the train mode and will return to the original position when your car comes back on the road. The idea is an ingenious one and quite fascinating. However, the technology that this idea is based on will probably deny the availability of this system for the next few years maybe. The whole process will depend on small motors which will be installed in wheels.
That being said, the idea is so compelling that we are already hoping that it turns into reality soon enough and provides us with this amazing system which will enable us to enjoy both; the freedom to drive around and the comfort of automating our vehicles when required.