Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Local entrepreneur designs futuristic skyway system for Texas travel

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TWC News: Local entrepreneur designs futuristic skyway system for Texas travel
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It’s an idea that looks like something out of the Jetson's---the Electric Dual Mode Skyway is designed to zip you off to San Antonio, Dallas or Houston in half the travel time.

The vision belongs to Innov8 Transport, Inc. founder Travis Knapp. He said under his plan, drivers enter an elevated conveyor-belt-like track every eight to 10 miles. With your car in neutral, the system would hook onto the wheels and transport you at a high speed.

"The wheel-wing is connected to the vehicles tires, and you're simply sitting there, your car is in neutral and you're traveling at speeds up to 100 to 130 miles per hour," Knapp said.

While just in its infancy stage, Knapp says this concept already has the eye of TxDOT, lawmakers in DC and Austin, and even the Obama administration. Private investors would fund the $30 billion project.

“We've met with just about anybody that wants to finance this type of project," Knapp said.

If innovator Norman Bel Geddes were still alive, Knapp’s system would have no doubt captured his attention. The Harry Ransom Center has Bel Geddes' ideas about transportation on display.

In 1938, General Motors commissioned Bel Geddes to envision the future of transportation.

"I think he would've loved the idea of having a skyway. I think it would have made him super excited," Helen Baer with the Harry Ransom Center said. "He would've had a blast working on a big project like this. He was always willing to take a small idea and make it as large as it could be."

Under Knapp’s vision, drivers would pay 25 to 50 cents per mile for the futuristic travel.

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