Researchers in China managed to make a 2.8-ton car levitate 35mm above the ground, according to local media. It’s not quite the flying car we’ve been eagerly waiting for for years but it’s still pretty impressive, especially when you see the video. The feat was accomplished while conducting a test on a highway in east China’s Jiangsu province. Developed by researchers from Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, the car is equipped with permanent electromagnets and uses magnetic levitation (maglev) technology to float in the air. The maglev propulsion system was first developed in the 1940s and is currently used in certain types of train transportation. However, this is the first time a maglev car has been developed in China.
A #maglev vehicle technology test saw a 2.8-tonne car float 35 millimeters above the road and run on a highway in #Jiangsu, east China. A permanent magnet array was installed for levitation. pic.twitter.com/7vWc8TvJpn
— QinduoXu (@QinduoXu) September 12, 2022
The car fitted with permanent electromagnets was guided by conducting rails installed on a section of the Gaochun-Xuancheng Expressway in Jiangsu province. The sedan painted in white and blue managed to successfully cover an undisclosed distance levitating above the ground. Deng Zigang, a professor and team leader at the university, said: “Our next step will be to focus on the development of the actual vehicle to realise the beautiful vision of seeing the first maglev car ‘floating up and running.’ This move will provide critical support for the development of maglev cars in China.”
Over the last several years, China has been at the forefront of the development and research in maglev transportation. Back in 2004, the first commercial maglev line was made operational in Shanghai that is underpinned by German technology and has a top speed of close to 270mph. The country is also working on its first domestically developed commercial maglev train, which completed a series of tests in March. However, maglev cars have the potential to be something big, especially when combined with Elon Musk’s idea of underground highways. What do you think?