This article was originally published on November 25, 2014 but we think it still rocks!
If it all goes according to their plan, SkySMART will be a transportion game changer. A combination between a gondola and a tandem bike, it's a 3D transportation system that can carry one to 12 people in pedal-powered pods. Created by Niagara Falls-based Shweeb-Can Corps, the project gained a large amount press in 2010 when it was awarded $1 million dollars for Google's Project 10^100, a prize for "ideas to change the world." It's only one of a handful of futuristic transportation systems we've seen, including Elon Musk's Hyperloop, Douglas Malewecki's Skytran, or Tiago Barros's Passing Cloud.
Right now a prototype of SkySMART exists at
, an amusement park in New Zealand, where individuals can race the pods around a 200-meter track. Shweeb-Can Corps sees the system as part of the Shweeb Eco-Ventures Park, a larger tourist attraction and demonstration space. The company expects the project will cost 10 million dollars to produce.
As for the pods themselves, each will be situated almost 14 feet above the ground in order to keep traffic clear. An article in The Star states that SkySMART has the potential to be "built up to four levels in particularly busy areas [and zip] at an average 50 kilometres per hour." Shweeb also recently bought the rights to Australian Geoffrey Barnett's pedal power generator in the Western Hemisphere, to provide an optional fare decrease, as well as exercise opportunities, to the individuals assisting in the energy generation for SkySMART.