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The planes that can pick up trains

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Our transport system, whichever way you look at it, is broken. Sure, most of us eventually get to where we need to go, but congestion and pollution are constant problems in cities across the world. When you consider the amount of time we spend just getting from one place to another, it makes you think there must be a better way.

The greatest minds in the transport industry have spent most of the last century offering us solutions such as bigger planes, faster trains, and more recently, greener automobiles. But if we want to truly revolutionise the transport experience for the better, then perhaps we need to look to individuals from outside the industry.

Later today Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, is expected to publically unveil details of Hyperloop, a proposed mode of transport he claims could cover the 340 miles (550km) from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes. Musk may get the headlines; however, others are thinking even more radically about the future of transport.

A group of students from the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow School of Art in the UK have devised Horizon, a system in which planes would lift and drop moving railway carriage-like “pods” from and onto the ground, thereby drastically cutting journey times. After studying the problems facing modern long-distance travellers, Andrew Flynn, Ewan Alston, Martin Keane and Mason Holden, sought to create a system that would significantly reduce the time it takes to get from points of departure to aeroplanes, and from them to destinations.

Read the full story – BBC – Future – Technology – Horizons: The planes that can pick up trains.

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