Craville Studies: Superconductor Report
MagLev trains, whilst being used currently, are not yet used everywhere due to the initial expense. When governments are willing to put in the initial funds or cheaper methods are found, only then will MagLev trains become a reality.
Whilst magnetically levitated trains are a realistic option right now, what about other forms of transport that superconductors could be incorporated into?
One such possible future direction is in the development of a MagLev highway for regular passenger cars. The cars would use the same technology that keeps the MagLev trains ‘floating’ above the track. The propulsion system would also work similarly to that of the MagLev train.
However, unlike trains that follow the same track everyday, cars need to be able to turn as well. For this reason, the steering wheel would need to have direct input into the magnetic poles of the superconductors on either side of the car. For instance, when the car puts a blinker on to change lanes, the poles on the right side of the would change or disappear entirely to allow the car to first be attracted towards, and then cross the centre line.
For this to work, the entire highway would have to have some system in place so that it could create magnetic poles (using superconductors) to attract the car in the right direction.
Not only would this system allow cars to travel faster, there would be no need for an internal combustion engine, decreasing our dependence on fossil fuel resources. And since the edges of the roads could have repelling magnetic poles, crashes where drivers go off the road or onto the wrong side of the road could be eliminated. Also, by incorporating magnetic poles created by superconductors on the front and rear of the vehicle, front and rear end collisions could become a thing of the past. Of course, initially, vehicles may have to have wheels for street driving, but superconductors for driving on highways that use the technology.
Whilst all this sounds at first a little far fetched, we have the technology with the potential to make it happen, it just becomes a matter of whether a government is willing to invest the initial money.