Traveling across the country or the world via any modern mode of transportation is a time-consuming affair. It can also be really annoying with the long lines, crying babies, armrest hogs, cramped space, etc. Would it not be the most awesome invention ever if some new type of transportation could cut that travel time significantly?
Get ready, because it may only be a few years from becoming a reality. A company called ET3 has plans in the works for the Evacuated Tube Transport, a high-speed transportation tube that uses magnetic levitation. The ETT can travel at speeds of up to 4,000 miles per hour, and each tube seats a maximum of six people and comes with a baggage compartment. How does it go so fast? It's airless and frictionless and could have you from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes, as opposed to the nearly five hours a direct flight would take. It could even have you depart from New York and be in Beijing in two hours.
The tubes would be set up like freeways to prevent crowding and traffic congestion problems. Plus, ET3 claims that passengers need not worry about feeling discomfort while traveling at such high speeds. The high velocity at which the tubes move is equal to 1G of force at top speed, which is similar to the force felt by someone traveling in a car on the freeway.
Daryl Oster, the founder and CEO of ET3, says that he got the idea for the tube transport system when he visited China back in the 1980s.
When and if the tubes make their debut in the next decade, they will initially be used to transport cargo, not people.