Can the tubes be transparent, so people can view outside when they travel?
I think the tubes should be transparent, or at least have very sizable portals. It would be kind of creepy and sterile to be strapped into a windowless little container, inserted into a dark tube and shot through it. And looking at it from outside would be equally sinister and almost malevolent looking. Anyone with even a shred of claustrophobia would have an immediate aversive reaction to the entire thing. It should be light, and transparent, suggesting weightlessness and total lack of boundaries.
Riding inside would then be a fantastically exciting experience at such high speed. Watching the pods moving at such high speeds from the outside would be tremendously exciting.
You are not alone in your thought, others have expressed similar concerns prompting detailed research into the issue of fears. What we
discovered is that there are some people who are so claustrophobic that they cannot get into an elevator, phone booth, or even an
We also discovered that there are likely more people who would be afraid to ride in a fully transparent system. We worked with over a dozen design teams at Colorado School of Mines, and they came up with several ways to provide both conditions in the same capsule. HD cameras on the outside of the tube can capture external images that are transmitted in real time to new high tech eye wear that displays the image. The eye glasses simulate a fully transparent view from treetop level. If the occupant turns their head to the left the view is updated to view left facing cameras, etc --- much better visibility than in an aircraft or car.
The ability to see the capsules operating in the tubes would be a slight decrease in security. While it is extremely rare compared to
car accidents, occasionally a terrorist will use a sniper rifle to target people in cars, trains, or aircraft. This is not as likely if the terrorist cannot see where the vehicles are.
Our focus is to maximize transportation value for as many people as possible -- we will not sacrifice the needs of the many for the wants of a few. We agree that the user experience is very important, and there is much that can be done to tailor ET3 to suit individual preferences (and even mitigate unreasonable fears).
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