In space, objects in motion tend to stay in motion; air friction provides no resistance because there isn't any air. So, if you needed to transport something heavy, and wanted to minimize resistance, couldn't you recreate these same space vacuum physics on earth? Daryl Oster, the founder and CEO of technology company ET3, thinks so, and he wants to build a system of airless tubes that use magnetic levitation to quickly move Vancouver Island citizens from Nanaimo to Swartz Bay.
"It is literally space transport on earth," Oster explains to Gregor Craigie of CBC Radio One's On The Island. In his proposal for ET3 (which stands for Evacuated Tube Transport Technology), just a single tube 5' in diameter sends levitating, car-sized passenger capsules hurtling at around 400mph at "1/10th the cost of High Speed Rail, or 1/4th the cost of a freeway," according to the ET3 website. So, could the ET3 be Canada's answer to the Hyperloop? At the moment, the company's immediate focus is to "finalize the location to build a production ready demonstration of ET3" down a three mile track. Your move, Musk.
Click here to listen to Oster's 10-minute radio chat with On The Island.