It's been maddening over the years watching various state and local governments getting snookered into throwing resources at (and depriving other things of attention and resources) Shiny! New! Technologies! that never pan out. For years I would read articles extolling the virtues of PRTs or advocating Maglev technology for light rail systems (!!!). Always people who know nothing about mass transit thinking that some New Transit will be somehow better, usually because suburbanites think it "sounds cool" instead of actually being viable technology or solving any problems (cost, capacity, accessibility, reach) even if it was.
The latest very exciting thing is hyperloop. Have fun everybody!
You don't need to get local governments to be involved to build an actual test system in the middle of nowhere (except maybe a ROW in the middle of nowhere).