I just watched Kevin Rose’s recent Foundation episode with Elon Musk and was trying to find out what the “Hyperloop” mode of transportation mentioned within might be. Musk attempts to be secretive about the nature of the “new” mode of transportation and while it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control(or googling). Which has led me, inexorably, here:
An excerpt from the ET3 (Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies) website:
WHAT IS ET3 and HOW DOES IT WORK?
ET3 is literally “Space Travel on Earth”. ET3 is silent, low cost, safe, faster than jets, and is electric.
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.