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“We Don’t Need Their Money”

Question: Which cities are most interested in Sky Tran? 

Doug Malewicki: New Orleans is very interested, I’ve been to Sweden. Sweden seems to really understand what this type of technology can do for reducing energy requirements, moving people, totally eliminating traffic congestion. We also went to Abu Dhabi; my two business buddies – partners. And they have this future of the city Mazdar being built. Now, we didn’t win that, and I was almost happy because they’re talking like a 14-mile per hour system that’s also going to carry freight and garbage and everything else like that. That’s not my goal. My goal is solving the commuter congestion problem and moving people around the city and getting dad home early – a lot faster, a lot saner, and a lot safer. We haven’t talked about safety, but safety is a big issue when you’re talking this kind of computer controlled technology. 

Cities in the U.S., we’re talking to Santa Cruz is interested, Marin County, New Orleans looks very interested, NASA Aims, where we have our short little powered prototype, full-size prototype is going to create an innovation university and we may be a little feeder from the Cal Train to all over the campus there which will be a good test thing going. We’ll be running 25 mph for a year, and then the next system will be the 35 mph system, and we’ll keep building that up. There’s inquiries from all over. It’s just how many are real. 

Question: How would you go about integrating Sky Tran into a current transportation system? 

Doug Malewicki: We are looking into becoming like feeders for light rail. So, here’s my system, or going 40-50 mph in the beginning to feed a system that will take people around at 15 or 17 mph. We also make a lot of sense for the future for airports, to take people right to their gates. You pop in luggage in another vehicle and it would take you right there. 

One of the real good future things is, say you’re going to Florida, you get on in New York, you fly down to Florida, you checked your baggage in, in New York, you never have to see it again. It’s gong to appear in your hotel. The Sky Tran Micro Freeway is so inexpensive, we could run it – once you get off the airport in Florida to 50 different hotels. And you’d get out at your gate, within 200 feet, you’d be on the Sky Tran and boom, you’d be in your hotel you picked, and your luggage might already be there, or it might be there 10 minutes later. That’s the future that I’ve always seen for this type of a system. 

Question: What should be the role of policymakers in this undertaking? 

Doug Malewicki: We don’t need their money. This should be a private enterprise. We just don’t need the special interests protection 1900’s train technologies like it’s the ultimate forever. Everything can be improved forever. We’re trying to do that, baby. It is so logical. The computer technology, the aerodynamics, the composite structures, the control systems, the user interface, it’s all well understood. It could have been done 15 or 10 years ago, easily. So, it just takes a while for people to grasp it. They’ll probably be scared of it the first couple of years; the teenagers will love it right off the bat; the iPhone kids. And little by little it’ll open up a lot of things. Younger people will be able to go places with ease. Older, more frail people who don’t have a driver’s licenses anymore can go places. Emergency medical service. Bam. One hundred mph into the Emergency Room directly when you have a problem. All kinds of things you have to spend a lot of time understanding all the implications of what this kind of a transportation system can provide.  

Recorded on February 3, 2010

Why government funding isn’t necessary to back up the scientist’s vision for the future of transportation.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
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  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
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Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Human brains evolved for creativity. We just have to learn how to access it.

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  • According to Eagleman, during evolution there was an increase in space between our brain's input and output that allows information more time to percolate. We also grew a larger prefrontal cortex which "allows us to simulate what ifs, to separate ourselves from our location in space and time and think about possibilities."
  • Scott Barry Kaufman details 3 brain networks involved in creative thinking, and Wendy Suzuki busts the famous left-brain, right-brain myth.

What if Middle-earth was in Pakistan?

Iranian Tolkien scholar finds intriguing parallels between subcontinental geography and famous map of Middle-earth.

Image: Mohammad Reza Kamali, reproduced with kind permission
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New study explores how to navigate 'desire discrepancies' in long term relationships

With the most common form of female sexual dysfunction impacting 1 in 10 women, this important study dives into how to keep a relationship going despite having different needs and wants in the bedroom.

NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock
Sex & Relationships
  • A new study highlights the difficulties faced by women who struggle with decreased sexual desire, and explains how to navigate desire discrepancies in long-term relationships.
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