Category Archives: Technology

The next disruption in #transportation: ET3, space travel on earth

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop® has garnered international attention. So should the initiative called ET3, which is based on the same concept: Propelling people and goods through a vacuum tube is one of the more sensible transportation goals within reach of our current technologies.

ET3 stands for evacuated tube transportation technologies. Check out their concept video:

I love the list of all the things that you’ll miss when ET3 takes over: car insurance, traffic tickets and tolls, parking fees, and the disappearance of a convenient place for your daughter to make out (the last of which I made up, and reluctantly believe that substitutes would easily be found).

Here’s a brief description from the ET3 website:

Car sized passenger capsules travel in 1.5m (5′) diameter tubes on frictionless maglev. Air is permanently removed from the two-way tubes that are built along a travel route. Airlocks at stations allow transfer of capsules without admitting air. Linear electric motors accelerate the capsules, which then coast through the vacuum for the remainder of the trip using no additional power. Most of the energy is regenerated as the capsules slow down. ET3 can provide 50 times more transportation per kWh than electric cars or trains.

Speed in initial ET3 systems is 600km/h (370 mph) for in state trips, and will be developed to 6,500 km/h (4,000 mph) for international travel that will allow passenger or cargo travel from New York to Beijing in 2 hours. ET3 is networked like freeways, except the capsules are automatically routed from origin to destination.

As most forward-thinking people count on my blog to reveal potentially world-changing developments as well as insight into things that really suck, the work of ET3 and SpaceX’s Hyperloop qualify on both counts. Get ready to tap an app that brings the autonomous car to your door and delivers you to an ET3 boarding station, where you are whisked to Rome for dinner along the Tiber.

ET3-1

The second coming of the vacuum tube: But ET3 will provide transport systems unlikely to be replaced in the foreseeable future.

If humankind can survive its current distractions involving religiopolemos, this prospect is not only possible, but inevitable. Barring the development of an effective transporter such as used on the starship Enterprise.

I learned about the work of ET3 after being followed on Twitter by a guy named Jordet, who hereafter will need to adjust to the fact that I’m following him back—a decided drawback of our social media age.

If anyone is seeking volunteers for a Hyperloop or Martian colonization, for that matter, please keep me in mind. Suck me up, Scotty.

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