The Concept

The Panama is a high-rise transit system designed for people living and working in a city where skyscrapers are pervasive. It would ride on networks of suspended curved rails, able to stop at private balconies, commercial buildings, and office complexes.

Origin of the Idea

I had the idea for a rooftop-people-mover while working on the Tridika concept. I wondered about how we could travel between buildings (vertical farms, shopping centers, condo towers, etc.) without the need to descend to the street level.

How It Works

The Panama would be suspended under a rail from where it would travel across buildings. What’s more, an Electromagnetic Propulsion system would be used to silently traverse the programmed destinations inputted by rail users .

A strong type of railing, probably made of nanotubes or graphene, would be used to support the vehicle’s weight. The system would be engineered to resist strong wind gusts and ice build-up.

The Panama would have AR panoramic windows installed, ably designed for sightseeing. Augmented Reality (AR) systems integrated into the doors and cockpit windows would allow users to pinpoint important landmarks and select the Panama’s destination. The interactive system would also provide information, media, and other features for tourists or commuters aboard the Panama.

The Market

Panama could be used to create an elevated highway system linking skyscrapers of futuristic cities, enabling people to avoid traffic and, fittingly, save time. In the future, urban dwellers working in business towers might be able to shop at vertical farms after work to pick up fresh groceries. The Panama would be adequately suited for this purpose and, subsequently, head straight to their homes, which may be located on the 150th floor of a condo tower—commuters would never need to set foot on the ground level.

If our cities continue to grow in height, which they will, it would be imperative that we develop new forms of transportation systems duly adapted to the new architectural landscapes. The Panama aims to inspire the creation of novel, innovative types of high-rise transit systems.


The Panama concept was imagined in April 2017 by Charles Bombardier and designed by  Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014 with a master’s degree in Design. He currently works as a freelance vehicle designer in India. He also created the Drone Tower concept and the Orizon spacejet.