If you have heard of a futuristic business in the inter-city travel mode using advanced magnetic levitation and propulsion technologies, this news must excite you. Indiaâ€™s largest conglomerate Reliance Industries has acquired a 12.7% stake in a US company Skytran Inc. The investment has been made through Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited, 100% owned by reliance.
SkyTran is involved in developing Personal Rapid Transit Systems. The new technology in which a few other companies are also involved can facilitate travel between long distances through the use magnetic levitation in which a transport module placed inside a closed tubular structure can move the cubicle at speeds not imaginable at this moment in time.
SkyTran has 8 approved patents and 40+ patents pending approval, globally, including in India. SkyTran claims it would use cutting edge IT, Telecom, IoT and Advanced Materials technologies to transport passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner. It has a tie-up with NASA for this project apart from Israel Aerospace Industries.
Reliance has entered the fray hoping to partner with SkyTran in its efforts at developing its projects in India and will want to play an active role in advancing the SkyTran solution, especially in Telecom (4G/5G/IoT/Giga Fiber), Digital Platforms and Services, Advanced Materials & Electric Batteries.
Indiaâ€™s only private sector enterprise to be listed in Fortuneâ€™s Global 500 list of â€˜Worldâ€™s Largest Corporationsâ€™ Reliance would get to nominate a director on the Board of SkyTran. There were other major investors who participated in the Preferred Stock financing.
There is no specific timetable as such for the projects to go on stream, either the pilot runs or the full-scale operations. Obviously, SkyTran would want to begin its Smart Mobility Solutions in the US before moving out to the other markets, including India. Having a powerful partner like Reliance in India will definitely be of help in getting things done here.