15 Pantheon I
Magnetic levitation (Maglev) or magnetic suspension is the method by which 22nd Century hover-cars fly in the air with no support other than magnetic fields. Magnetic force is used to counteract the effects of the gravitational acceleration
In 2098, an IIT graduate, Aditya, came out with the idea of turning the biggest highway of India with 8 main lane and 4 (2+2) service lanes into a magnetic levitation track! NH 44, which covered the North-South Corridor of NHDP and was officially listed as running over 3,745 km (2,327 mi) from Srinagar to Kanyakumari, was the longest national highway in India.
Aditya used various construction machines ranging from asphalt mixing plant to crawler excavator on this project. He used a new model of construction vehicle which he called "Magno". The "Magno" was equipped with a pile driver at the front. These prism shaped magnetic field generating devices were driven under the roads from Srinagar to Kanyakumari, and the cement was re-casted and paved with asphalt.
He also co-founded an automobile startup called Upvas, Sanskrit word for 'quick' which produced a new generation of hover-cars equipped with magnetic levitation! These pure electric hover-cars were a 3/8 scale concept models, designed to have three ducted fans, each with their own motor, which would lift it off the ground and move it through the air onto the maglev roads. These vehicles had a magnetic suspension drive installed on its chassis, keeping it suspended on the maglev roads.
As practical hover-car models and the first stable maglev version, Upvas was safe, reliable and had an environment-friendly operation both on public roads and in the air. It received widespread adoption throughout India as it was also able to fly without a qualified driver at the helm through AIs especially made for autonomous flying vehicles and came at an affordable price and running costs.
Aditya's startup quickly turned into an actual company called "Upvas motors" through the operations of hover-cars and trucks on the first Maglev Highway in India, NH44. Based on the same technology as Tesla's conceptual hyper-loop, and the high-speed rail in Japan, the Upvas hover-car seemed to have a very bright future if all the roads it travels on could be turned into maglev roads!
Aditya personally exchanged opinions with the Prime Minister of India and Upvas quickly transformed into a state owned company! India started its Maglev revolution and all the roads in India were engineered and rebuilt with magnetic field and levitation in mind. Upvas, in collaboration with the RTO quickly came out with the Automobile Maglev Regulations.
These new regulations designated the area between 4 and 32 meters above the road as a driving/flying zone for hover-cars; no drones or other flying devices were permitted to fly in this area above the roads. Based on different speeds, four different tracks with different heights were delineated. The first track was a buffer track with a height of four meters and a speed limit of less than ten kmph, which was the speed of a hover-car in the first gear.
The second track was about 8 meters high with a speed limit of 80-100kmph, which was the speed of a hover-car in the second gear.
The third track was about 16 metres high with a speed limit of 120-160kmph, which was the speed of a hover-car in the third gear. The third gear was the maximum gear and speed for manual driving in a hover car!
The fourth track was 32 metres high and was an AI controlled track with a fixed speed of 250 kmph! Hover-cars were faster and safer than their road counterparts. As hover-cars driving at the same height were equal in speed, so there was no problem with collisions or rear-end collisions. When entering the top track, hover-cars entered the AI driving mode with the speed locked at 250 kmph.
After setting the route, artificial intelligence replaced the driver to complete driving tasks. But, there would always be troublemakers in every era! A mid-air collision between several hover-cars, due to falsified position data being sent to each car with the intent of causing a collision on NH-44 from a terrorist hacker changed everything! Upvas and RTO came with new rules and regulations thus, solving this problem by message integrity and authentication!
There were adjustments in the details of overpasses, acceleration, parking, traffic lights, changing tracks, and drivers' licenses. There were also relevant regulations in the traffic management. A total of 50,000 words partially detailed all the problems.
At this point, India's traffic had officially leaped to the three-dimensional traffic era. All the automobile companies followed Upvas' example and came out with their own hover-car models. Tata, Maruti Suzuki, Toyota and Mahendra made budget and high-end hover-cars while brand names like Ferrari, Bugatti and Mercedes came up with their aesthetically pleasing luxury models.
Myntra VR Store, Tilak Nagar
Charu Gupta was Ahan's childhood friend, they were together since playschool and Ahan also joined PEC because of her! She was one year older than him and graduated from PEC(Punjab Engineering College) with a dual Bachelors degree in virtual reality and business administration. Her stellar academic record along with a stunning appearance made everyone shower her with praise and envy, and she graduated at the top of the class.
Even though the both of them had been inseparable since they were kids and took admission in the same university, they lived completely different lives. Because of family's money problems, Charu didn't pursue post- graduate studies whereas Ahan planed to do his Masters from abroad. She chose to work at a Myntra as their VR Programmer right after she got her degree.
Due to her outstanding performance and dual degree, she was promoted to store manager at an excellent location by the upper management of Myntra. This gave her the perfect platform to display her prowess.
Once she was promoted, she immediately implemented a list of new action plans for both VR programmers and store employees which were aimed at increasing the store's sales substantially. However, because of her strict performance measures and perpetual expressionless face, she acquired the name 'Ice Princess' behind her back!
Maybe it was due to her eagerness to prove herself or her inexperience, Charu did not realize that although the constantly high-pressure environment she introduced brought short-term improvements, it made the overall work atmosphere oppressive.
Humans are not machines! They have emotions and needs even in a work environment! When an average salary started to conflict with Charu's exceptionally high expectations, unrest grew between the store employees and they boycotted her which ultimately impacted the sales figure negatively. Maybe she was justified in her management, but she didn't consider the most important thing; human emotions.
The upper management ultimately decided to let the relatively inexperienced store manager who caused the store great losses, go.
Charu, who was appraised as the top student of the PEC(Punjab Engineering College), actually lost her job in a matter of three months.
As smart as she was, she realized what she did wrong. However, it was too late to fix everything. Her dad had already passed away when she was 5 years old and to educate Charu, her mother had taken an education loan from her brother, Uday Thakur, who had always eyed their only property, their flat! Although with her ability it would not be difficult to find another job to repay the loan. There were so many graduates each year that it would be a nightmare to standout in the competitive IT Industry market once again. She had already lost her competitive edge by getting fired from Myntra!
Also, all the offers she got on Linkedin were based on preposterous conditions, such as high salary and other benefits in exchange for a one night stand with the HR Director. If the candidate did not comply, then they moved on to the next one.
In a country as populated as India with 2.3 billion people, it was not difficult to find someone with ability who was willing to work at an even lower salary. In India, if you did not pick a 30,000 per month job, someone would pick the same job for 25,000 per month! So, all kids were taught to grab the first opportunity they get.
As the date of giving back the education loan came closer, her Uncle started threatening and harassing her mother. She thought about calling the police, but the loan was not from an official source like a bank or something to begin with and her uncle had a contract with the flat as a collateral!
She made a living working part-time in hopes of solving the problem through legal means. At the same time, she desperately maintained her hopes of finding an ideal job back in the IT Industry. But she knew her luck ran out when she came out of a departmental store. A few seemingly malicious buff and tall guys, along with her uncle surrounded her.
They were clearly not there to negotiate and were going to take away their flat forcefully!