Results of the International Survey 2018

Maglev: Science Experiment or the Future of Transport?

Practical Investigation of Maglev Technologies
Future Perspectives and Limitations Compared with Steel-Wheel-Rail

The non-profit International Maglev Board, aiming to track current trends in the market perspectives of magnetic levitation, or maglev, technologies, conducted a primary study in the spring of 2018 among maglev specialists and transportation professionals. More than 1,000 participants took part in a detailed, anonymous survey that was conducted in four languages simultaneously: English, Russian, Chinese and German.

Main survey questions compared the suitability of conventional wheel-on-rail and maglev technologies according to different application areas. Predicted opportunities and developments in maglev technology, acceptance issues and research needs were analyzed and results were broken down by expertise and nationality of the participants.

For academic use, major survey results can be downloaded on the scientific platform Any commercial use is prohibited.


Maglev: Science Experiment or the Future of Transport?

The ratings varied greatly according to the expertise levels and origins of the respondents. In some application cases, wheel-rail systems remain the preferred transport technology. But in other cases, maglev technologies were preferred by a majority of transport professionals. This is particularly true for high-speed intercity transport and for new applications of maglev elevators in buildings. At the same time, many respondents noted a need for continuing research into maglev technologies.

Hyperloop systems were viewed critically. At best, some suitability was seen for the transport of goods in containers, but not for the transport of passengers.

Overall, there was a notable geographic perspective. Respondents from North and South America, Russia and Asia were on average particularly open to the implementation of maglev technologies.

The study was funded exclusively by the non-profit International Maglev Board. There was never any influence of third parties, either on the research aims or the evaluation process. Analysis and evaluation strictly followed well-established scientific standards.


M. Wenk, J. Klühspies, L. Blow, R. Kircher, E. Fritz, M. Witt, M. Hekler:
Maglev: Science Experiment or the Future of Transport?


Book, Hardcover · September 2018

ISBN 9783947957002
Publisher: The International Maglev Board