Transportation: Is it all it can be? Not even.
How do I know?
Consider the evidence: Motor vehicle over-reliance. The consequent attributed casualties to vehicle crashes galore. Tailpipe exhausted emissions in excess and the impact of such on health and wellbeing. Also, congested and gridlocked traffic is way, way overboard. Need I say more?
We’ve essentially been operating using the same model for about 100 years if you want to include air travel; 120 years if you don’t. If you include railway development, we’ve had 200 years to get this right. It still isn’t right. And, this could be the reason many people are not only excited about but have faith in such prospects as supersonic-speed vacuum-tube travel, self-propelled automobiles and flying cars, these plus other very promising newfangled ideas coming down the pike as well.
Okay, I’ll admit: Some, quite frankly, are not yet ready for prime time.
Even so, transportation is evolving. Regarding the status quo, there is so, so much to be desired. That said, the time for change has come.
New element, new direction long overdue
“Except for a few variations on two basic themes, this is pretty much where land transportation is in the world today,” I wrote in my ebook: The Departure Track: Railways of Tomorrow. It’s an applied model now 200 years old.
“But all this could change depending upon whether or not we wish to move forward. There is nothing that says progress is absolute, but if we do decide that this is what we want, the $64 million question becomes: Where do we wish to go and how do we propose getting there?” That’s the question.
Here’s what’s key:
“ … If a new generation in transportation technology can be deployed to move today’s masses effectively and efficiently, completely and conveniently, not to mention reliably and safely, regardless of speed and operating environment, something can definitely be said for just such a system. If this is indeed the case, then, for all intents and purposes, systems on this order will likely find a place. If that happens, there will surely be implications regarding the way in which tomorrow’s mobility needs will be met, whether this be in the near-term or the distant future.”1
Where this is going, exactly
Travel-through-a-tube is an idea that’s almost as old as automated transport itself. And, this idea or prospect isn’t going away anytime soon.
Why this is important is because what it tells me is that we’ve reached a transitioning point. This new dimension in our transportation development evolution is, quite frankly, moving people – it’s getting us excited, in other words.
That’s a positive. There is this anticipation, expectation that we will cross the finish line and what will emerge is a mode so unlike anything that’s ever been known before but still following the same evolutionary (also, at times, revolutionary) transportation development paradigm or path that’s been in place since the get-go.
At the same time, we must be realistic about this. For example, is land-based people travel at 760 miles per hour doable? For the sake of argument, let’s just say it is. Doable doesn’t mean practical. That’s the challenge. Many though are placing their bets that it will one day be practical and thus are pinning their hopes on that actualization.
As it may relate, Hyperloop, meanwhile, has practically become a household name.
As exemplified in The Departure Track, other designs are in contention too. We’re talking about CyberTran, skyTran™ and VECTORR™. There is also ET3™. Maybe not as well-known as the Hyperloop group of offerings, proposals (Hyperloop One, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, others) yet, nevertheless they are making inroads. And, the best thing about each one of these modes is that they are all emissions-free which means, these should in no way ever be forgotten about. I stand behind these words absolutely if for no other reason than due to the ebook I wrote which, for everyone’s edification, is an independent, detailed, objective, semi-technical review (call it “preview” if you like) of the CyberTran, skyTran™ and VECTORR™ systems.
If you think this is all crazy talk, I offer proof it’s anything but. Remember the pay-phone telephone booth? The reel-to-reel, 8-track and cassette tape recorder and deck? Where are those now?
These are exciting times indeed!
- Alan Kandel, The Departure Track: Railways of Tomorrow, “Chapter. 3: A New Direction?” Aug. 2011