Instead of moving goods on resource-intensive trains, Spain-based technology company Novateq Guerrero SNL wants to build out a different kind of transportation network–one that uses super-powerful magnets to propel vehicles. Novateq has already developed a prototype of its system, which uses Neodymium magnets, or rare-earth magnets, as a driving force. The magnets are 9 times more powerful than conventional models.
Novateq’s network leverages the attraction and repulsion of Neodymium-based magnetic fields modified with steel alloys to propel vehicles at will. The system is both simple and straightforward — it only requires occasional maintenance and lubrication, and it is expected to last much longer than other magnetically-powered transportation systems.
Eventually, the Novateq system could be used to do everything from distributing post office envelopes and propelling assembly lines to moving vehicles in private industrial tunnels. The magnetic transportation network probably won’t replace traditional trains any time soon, though, especially since Warren Buffett recently invested $34 billion in Burlington Northern Santa Fe, the country’s second largest railroad.