Indian American engineer Ankur Bhatnagar’s startup skyTran gets investment from Eric Schmidt

skyTran, cofounded by Indian engineer Ankur Bhatnagar, a path-breaking transportation company headquartered in California, has received financial investment from Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Ankur_Bhatnagar-081Bhatnagar, a BTech engineer from IIT-Roorkee and an MTech from IIT-Kanpur is the sole Indian cofounder of skyTran, a Nasa Space Act company which is headquartered at the Nasa Ames Research Center. Ankur confirmed that Schmidt has invested in a Series-A round in this NASA Space Act company through his venture capital fund called Innovation Endeavors. He declined to reveal the amount invested.

The business daily reported that skyTran has developed a “third-generation” Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) technology. With this technology, the firm is hoping to revolutionise the face of public transport across the globe.

In next two years, Bhatnagar is looking forward to enable the service in India to make the country its biggest market. While elaborating about the project, Bhatnagar said, “skyTran can transport passengers above surface traffic cutting the journey between Mulund and Colaba in Mumbai or Bengaluru airport to Electronic City in 25 minutes.”

skyTran is in talks with various industrial groups and state governments and is eying the PRT opportunities in cities that includes Jaipur, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Kerala. The company will have a network of computer-controlled levitating ‘jet-like’ vehicles which will transport passengers above surface traffic.

“The average speed of travel in cities is expected to be 120 km/hour. That means a user can expect to travel from Gurgaon to Noida in less than 25 minutes, for example. The speed of travel would be 250 km/hour on intercity routes. A journey between Delhi and Chandigarh or Delhi to Jaipur would just take an hour,” said Bhatnagar.

Earlier, skyTran had received funding from the US Department of Transportation.


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