Thursday, January 27, 2011
Forget jetpacks, vacuum tubes are the future!
Wired reports: [edited]
Building a “traffic internet” of vacuum tubes that zip drivers to anywhere on earth in under an hour and circumnavigate the globe in two hours might sound like science fiction, but work on vehicles capable of tube-travel is already underway.
The vacuum tubes won’t be around during our lifetime, but cars built in this decade could lay the groundwork for a future transportation infrastructure.
With new cars must come new roadways. By 2050, Maskus thinks elevated tracks will separate high-speed Acabions from antiquated automobiles, just as horse-drawn carriages aren’t allowed on interstates. Elevated tracks over highways would be automated, much like high-speed rail but with individual cars. And when the elevated highways end, Acabion users can still drive on existing roads.
Next up is a network of intercontinental vacuum tubes — a “traffic internet” — that probably sounds as far-fetched today as an undersea telegraph cable did in the 1850s.
“Two tubes between New York and Paris, 1.5 meters in diameter each, maglev driven and fully automatic controlled, will move three times more people between America and Europe than all airplanes do today,” Maskus said.
If you’re itching for a taste of that future, we suggest you check out the current Acabion lineup. It consists of custom-made streamliners that Maskus is aiming at customers bored with their Veyrons. For starters, the Acabion GTBO borrows an engine from the Suzuki Hayabusa, has a top speed of 340 mph, can get 100 mpg at 100 mph and has a $2.5 million price tag.
Image courtesy of Acabion