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Evacuated Tube Transport - A Transportation Paradigm Or Pipe Dream?


Ever imagined being able to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 45 minutes or from Washington D.C. to Beijing in just two hours? That's precisely what a mobility technology, dubbed Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies, or ET3, can accomplish, if implemented, claims engineer Daryl Oster, who is also the founder and CEO of et3.com Inc., an open consortium.

The proposed Evacuated Tube Transport, or ETT, invented by Oster, aims to create a non polluting and safe mode of travel at a speed of about 350 miles per hour for in-state trips and up to 4,000 miles per hour for international travel. The patent for ETT was issued in 1999 and is scheduled to expire in 2017.

Besides being safe, clean and fast, ETT, is also a low cost transportation since it requires only 1/10th the cost of High Speed Rail, or 1/4th the cost of a freeway, to build a 350 miles per hour ETT infrastructure, according to the inventor of ETT.

ET3, the patented technology behind the high-tech transportation, which will run on electricity, allows for frictionless high speed travel, similar to the one experienced by astronauts in space flight, and hence its name "Space Travel on Earth". Oster claims that ET3 can provide 50 times more transportation per kilowatt-hour than electric cars or trains.

This new form of transport will involve car sized passenger capsules traveling through two-way vacuum-sealed tubes on a magnetic track that are built along a travel route. For people who feel claustrophobia as ETT involves traveling in a capsule, there is a solution - the reclined seating and "virtual window" displays allow the simulation of whatever environment the rider prefers; or TV, movies, video games, etc. may be displayed to provide distraction from negative thoughts.

Since the air is permanently removed from the two-way tubes, the Evacuated Tube Transport will use life-support apparatus to help passengers breathe. The ET3 capsules, weighing only 183 kg, has the capacity to seat six people, with enough room per passenger, exceeding that of airplanes and luxury automobiles, or carry up to 367 kg (800 lbs) of cargo.

Daryl Oster has proposed to test the ET3 concept initially in cargo transport since it represents lower risks, before moving onto human travel.

et3.com Inc. has begun selling licenses for its ETT system. The cost of the license is 6% of the accepted participation bid amount, plus an annual fee of $100 per person. Over a dozen et3 licenses have been sold in China, and more than 60 licenses have been sold in five different countries with several more expressing interest, according to the company. It is estimated that it will take less than a thousand licensees to achieve the first ETT commercialization.

A 3D virtual ride on an Evacuated Tube was slated for release last year by et3.com. Unfortunately, it still hasn't materialized.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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