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ETT: Intercontinental Vacuum-Based Transportation System Can Reach 4,000mph


et3-6Have you ever seen those tubes that the employees of some companies use to communicate with each other, by sending tokens that have some papers inside? Those tubes work with the help of vacuum pumps, and they’re very easy to use and very practical. I’ve even seen one of those at a supermarket in my town.

ETT stands for Evacuated Tube Transport, and it is a new concept of a transportation system that makes use of vacuum pumps, tubes and cabins to take people from point A to point B with only 2 percent of the energy required otherwise to power an airplane, a car or a train. Additionally, it is much safer and faster than any transportation system on Earth, since it relies on the fact that by moving the tubes in vacuum, there will be no friction and all the hassle involved with this. So, as they say, it’s like bringing space travel speed down to Earth.

Airlocks allow access without admitting air to the tubes.  Linear electric motors accelerate the capsules.  During most of the trip the capsules coast; using no power.   When the capsules brake, linear generators recover most of the electrical energy used to accelerate the SUV-sized capsules.

Unlike trains, the ETT system uses passive switching that does not limit the frequency of vehicles in the tubes. You wouldn’t have to waste time to get to an airport – several smaller terminals can be disbursed where they are needed. Unlike cars and planes, automated ETT virtually eliminates the chances of collision.  Instead of waiting for a scheduled train or plane the ETT capsules wait for passengers.   ETT runs continuously in any weather, so you travel whenever you want to; without consulting the weather report. The MoPod is a hybrid vehicle small enough to fit inside of an ETT capsule, yet able to carry 2 people on local streets and highways while getting 200mpg.  Drive you personal MoPod from your house to the ETT station in a few minutes.  Drive the MoPod directly into an ETT capsule to make a 100 mile commute in less than a half hour. et3-5

Constructing a highway or railroad causes twenty times more environmental damage as building ETT, since it needs much less materials to support 1200lb vehicles, than are required to support 200ton trains. ETT is compatible with mountains, and wetlands, and will not contribute to storm runoff like pavement.  Wildlife can migrate unobstructed and will never be killed by ETT. The lifespan is long, and per tube capacity is high (can exceed 80 lanes of traffic), so waste and cost is low. ETT can use renewable, non-polluting energy like wind, or hydroelectric – so ETT is sustainable without reliance on fossil fuels or hydrogen that is costly and wasteful to produce.

Using “serial” processes, it took cars 14 years to supersede horses. Now, people demand faster change; so many companies in electronics and software industries collaborate “in parallel” to bring technologies more complex than ETT to market in months instead of years.   These “parallel” methods can be used for ETT implementation.  Many companies have already spent billions developing ETT; although they may not be aware of it yet!  For instance, hundreds of companies worldwide make and install pipelines (tubes), vacuum pumps, and the electronics to operate them.  Everything exists to start building ETT now, mostly with off-the-shelf parts.

So ETT could carry you and your family from New York to Paris in a couple of hours, while having the construction and maintenance costs only 10% of a regular high speed railway, like the French TGV. The lowest speed that the ETT could provide between local terminals is 350 mph, while intercontinental travel could reach 4,000 mph, unachievable with other means of transportation. It’s all electric, doesn’t hurt the environment as much as planes do, and it’s much cheaper. I don’t know why they quit the project in the first place, but I guess that with the proper advertising and funding, ETT could go from local to global, changing the way we travel.

Just think about the fact that you’ll be able to load your car into the tube, or you won’t have to use your car at all, since it’s that convenient. Along with the direct environmental gains that its construction would provide, think about the gas it would save. So, if you’re a blogger, pass along the information about this project, and maybe it’ll revive – it’s essentially an electric vehicle. Their site is et3.com.

Thanks to Jim Murray for the suggestion.

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