April 19, 2012
Futuristic Tube Transport System Looks To Speed Passengers Around The Globe
|Evacuated Tube Transport is an airless, frictionless, maglev-like form of transportation which is safer, cheaper and quieter than trains or airplanes. Six-person capsules travel in the tubes and can reach a maximum speed of 6,500 km/h, and provide 50 times more transportation per kwh. A tube can travel from New York to Beijing in two hours, and make a round-the-world trip in just six hours.|
ET3 stands for Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies. The company et3.com Inc. is an open consortium of licensees dedicated to global implementation of Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT).
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.
ET3 capsules weigh only 183 kg (400 lbs), yet like an automobile, can carry up to six people or 367 kg (800 lbs) of cargo. Compared to high speed rail, ET3 needs only 1/20th the material to build because the vehicles are so light. With automated passive switching, a pair of ET3 tubes can exceed the capacity of a 32 lane freeway. ET3 can be built for 1/10th the cost of High Speed Rail, or 1/4th the cost of a freeway.
According to the ET3 website, more than a dozen licenses have been sold in China, and more than five dozen total in 5 different countries with indications of interest in several more. The race is on to be the first to commercially implement "Space Travel on Earth."
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Tags: engineering, ET3, evacuated tube transport, future technology, futurism, transportation, tube transport
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