A skyTran system is the best option for meeting personal transportation needs in the foreseeable future. Self driving cars are a waste of time/money/engineering because they will take decades to develop and still have to drive on our crappy over-crowded roads. We are running out of room to build new roads to handle the current traffic let alone any future requirements. Also, cars are not very efficient. Why transport 1000s of lbs of steel and plastic just to haul a few hundred lbs of flesh from point A to point B?
Trains and buses fail the usability test because people hate traveling like herd animals all packed into one big crowded and smelly car. People also can't control their travel as much and have to match the train/bus schedule.
I don't see skyTran as replacing the car so much as more of taking the major load off of cars. Commuter traffic would be greatly eliminated in high population zones if all the 9-5 traffic was dumped onto a skyTran.
Imagine jumping in a pod and cruising downtown for the game/concert and then zipping home. No high rise parking structures...no rip-off parking fees. The stadium would have an enlarged hub to handle surges in traffic with ease.
Imagine the competition to UPS and FedEx if new companies could use a Country-wide skyTran. Dedicated hubs could be connected to the system and same day shipping and delivery would be common place.
Imagine a manufacturer with their own hub. They could have skyTran pods delivering parts directly from their suppliers.
Imagine a farmers market fed directly with refrigerated skyTran pods.
Imagine all the fiber which could be laid on top of the skyTran network which provided Gbps Internet while you traveled in comfort.
I have been following the efforts of skyTran for YEARS and I am stoked that they are finally getting to build a system.