A better Future for Travel: Comparing ET3 & Hyperloop One, Hardt Hyperloop, and Hyperloop TT


Introduction to Hyperloop Technology

What is Hyperloop?

Hyperloop is a proposed mode of passenger and freight transportation, first patented by ET3s Daryl Oster in 1999 as evacuated tube transportation technology – then later introduced by Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Inc in August 2013. It’s a sealed system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction, conveying people or objects at high speed while being very efficient, thereby drastically reducing travel times.

The Concept and Working of Hyperloop

The concept of Hyperloop technology originally involved a low-pressure transit tube system in which pressurized capsules ride on an air cushion driven by linear induction motors and air compressors. It is designed to be a faster, cheaper, safer, and more sustainable alternative to other modes of transportation. It’s also energy agnostic and receives energy produced from any source. Although, the main idea and thrust is to utilize renewable – sustainable energy sources. Later designs have fallen in line with ET3 – using linear motors and maglev.

ET3 design takes it even further with a proposed design using a higher vacuum rate, meaning lower pressure than its counterparts. Lower pressure simply means lower resistance and with ET3, it’s a near-space environment, the oldest and most proven travel environment in the known universe. No company today is incorporating Musk’s pipe dream design incorporating compressors or air suspension technology. Those are all atmospheric – the very thing a tube transport system’s design is supposed to be eliminating.

ET3 Global Alliance

Overview of ET3:

ET3 Global Alliance, short for Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies, is an American company that has proposed a transportation system using car-sized cargo and passenger capsules traveling in evacuated tubes on frictionless magnetic levitation (maglev) at speeds up to 4000 mph. The company claims that ET3 could provide 50 times more transportation per kWh than electric cars or trains.

Technology and Innovation at ET3

ET3’s approach to transportation is unique. It combines the technologies of maglev trains and vacuum tubes to create a system that can theoretically reach speeds of up to 4,000 mph. The capsules are designed to carry six people or a similar amount of cargo, and the entire system is automated, reducing the potential for human error.

Hyperloop One (Virgin/Hyperloop One)

Overview of Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One, previously known as Virgin Hyperloop since Richard Branson’s Virgin Group invested in the company then exited, is an American transportation technology company that works on the high-speed technology concept called Hyperloop. The company successfully conducted a full-scale Hyperloop test in May 2017, reaching speeds of up to 240 mph.

Technology and Innovation at Hyperloop One

Virgin Hyperloop is pioneering the technology and the regulatory framework for the deployment of Hyperloop systems around the world. Their system uses linear accelerator electric propulsion to accelerate a passenger or cargo vehicle through a tube in a low-pressure environment. Autonomous vehicles levitate slightly above the track and glide at faster-than-airline speeds over long distances, due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag.

Hardt Hyperloop

Overview of Hardt Hyperloop

Hardt Hyperloop is a Dutch company that aims to develop the Hyperloop high-speed transportation system. Founded in 2016, Hardt Hyperloop emerged from the winning team of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition. The company is currently working on a European Hyperloop network, with a focus on integrating the system within the existing transportation modalities.

Technology and Innovation at Hardt Hyperloop

Hardt Hyperloop’s technology is based on the use of magnetic levitation in a low-pressure environment to achieve high speeds with low energy consumption. The company is also working on the development of lane-switching technology, which would allow the Hyperloop system to create a network of tubes, much like a highway system, rather than a point-to-point connection.

Hardt Hyperloop Update 7/21/2023

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (Hyperloop TT)

Overview of Hyperloop TT

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, also known as HyperloopTT, is an American research company that uses a crowd collaboration approach to develop a commercial transportation system based on the Hyperloop concept. The company was founded in 2013 and has made significant strides in developing the technology and infrastructure needed for a functional Hyperloop system. More recently, the company has struggled with what appears to be limited funding sources. The company was recently procured for its supposed so-called “valuable” patent portfolio.

Technology and Innovation at Hyperloop TT

HyperloopTT is known for its unique approach to innovation, leveraging a global team of contributors working in exchange for future equity. The company’s technology includes a passive magnetic levitation system called Inductrack, which uses permanent magnets to achieve levitation, reducing the need for power and increasing safety. HyperloopTT is also developing a full-scale passenger capsule and has signed agreements for feasibility studies and potential Hyperloop systems in several countries around the world.

The obvious drawback to the Hyperloop TT design would be its sheer size. Original concepts, artwork and designs suggest the company plans to move cargo as large as 40′ shipping containers. There’s much to consider with this approach as the size of tubes and infrastructure required to support such a network are astronomical and unfeasible. Hyperloop TT will never fly when a train can perform the same task with a similar cost – and trains for freight are already in place and function well.

Comparing ET3, Hyperloop One, Hardt Hyperloop, and Hyperloop TT

Speed and Efficiency

All four companies aim to drastically reduce travel times compared to current modes of transportation. ET3 stands out with a proposed top speed of 6500 km/h or 4000 mph, while Hyperloop One, Hardt Hyperloop, and Hyperloop TT aim for speeds around 1200 km/h. In terms of efficiency, all companies use magnetic levitation, which reduces friction and energy consumption.

ET3 extends efficiency even further and is able to achieve higher speed: creating a lower vacuum state – more like space. The lower vacuum environment allows ET3 capsules to glide along the travel path on the frictionless maglev using no additional energy after a capsule has accelerated. In addition, ET3 uses less energy than its Hyperloop counterparts – when capsules reach their desired destination, 90% of the energy used to accelerate is recaptured.

Until recently, ET3 was the only design that would integrate switching into the tube network, but now, both Hardt and Hyperloop One have adopted and are planning as well.

Safety Measures

Safety is a top priority for all four companies. They all propose using low-pressure tubes to reduce air resistance and potential damage from external conditions. The use of magnetic levitation also eliminates many of the risks associated with mechanical parts. HyperloopTT has additionally developed a proprietary passive magnetic levitation system called Inductrack, which they claim increases safety.

ET3 approach to maglev is HTSM or High Temperature Superconductor Magnets – maglev is recharged before the beginning of each travel and no additional energy is required until the capsule reaches its final destination.

Cost and Feasibility

The cost of building a Hyperloop system is high, but the exact amount varies depending on the specific route, terrain, and other factors. All four companies are working on feasibility studies and partnerships with governments and other organizations to make their visions a reality. HyperloopTT and Hardt Hyperloop have made significant progress in Europe, while Hyperloop One has conducted successful tests in the United States.

Although it’s extremely difficult to estimate construction costs, especially with something so new and untried like tube transportation systems; Daryl Oster – whose first patents for ET3 were awarded in 1999, estimates a backbone network beginning in New York and ending in London via the Bering Strait – Suggests an approximate cost of $2Trillion USD as of 2021.

Oster, also eludes that size matters significantly when constructing a tube network and that larger concepts proposed by Hyperloop designs will cost significantly more to build. In addition, the higher tube enviroment pressure precludes Hyperloop designs to the 5X lower speeds than ET3, not to mention, lowers efficiency as energy is constantly required to move capsules along due to added resistance of slight atmospheric conditions.


The Hyperloop concept represents a significant leap forward in transportation technology. While ET3, Hyperloop One, Hardt Hyperloop, and Hyperloop TT each have their unique approaches and innovations, they all share a common goal: to revolutionize the way we travel. As these companies continue to develop and refine their technologies, the dream of high-speed, efficient, and sustainable travel is becoming closer to reality.

When it comes to regional and intercity travel, Hyperloop will be a winner no doubt with its estimated top speed exceeding 600 mph. ET3 claims their 4000 mph design would reduce to as low as 350 mph for local travel but the design would theoretically allow the higher end assuming the travel path was straight enough. All the designs are subject to physical forces created through curves, climbs, and descent and would have to adjust capsule speed accordingly.


Note: The term “Hyperloop” is applied as defining tube transportation which also includes ET3.

    1. What is the Hyperloop?
      The Hyperloop is a proposed mode of transportation that involves a sealed system of tubes through which a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction, conveying people or objects at high speed.

    1. How fast can a Hyperloop go?
      The proposed speeds vary by company, but they range from around 1200 km/h for Hyperloop One, Hardt Hyperloop, and Hyperloop TT, to up to 6500 km/h for ET3. For perspective, using switched tube network, capsules travel from origination point to destination seamlessly without stopping, you get in the capsule, it enters the lock where atmosphere is evacuated while you program your destination. The capsule moves into the network, then accelerates at 1 g force until reaching 4000 mph then merges into the flow of tube traffic. You’re on your way to Tokyo and will arrive in less than an hour and a half. Is that convenient and fast enough? No terminals, no transfers, no waiting… just get in and go.

    1. Is Hyperloop travel safe?
      Safety is a top priority for all Hyperloop companies. They propose using low-pressure tubes to reduce air resistance and potential damage from external conditions, and magnetic levitation to eliminate many of the risks associated with mechanical parts. Also, by creating a travel path that’s completely controlled, all the designs eliminate any possibility of that pathway being disrupted or obstructed.

    1. How much does it cost to build a Hyperloop?
      The cost varies depending on the specific route, terrain, and other factors. All four companies are working on feasibility studies and partnerships to make their visions a reality. (See the above ET3 estimate.)

    1. When will the Hyperloop be available?
      It’s hard to say exactly when the Hyperloop will be available for public use, as it depends on many factors including technological developments, regulatory approvals, and construction timelines. However, all four companies are making significant progress in developing the necessary technology and infrastructure.

Also of note: ET3 has had a significant head start over its Hyperloop counterparts and as a result, has been ready for the next phases before Elon Musk ever thought about Hyperloop. In fact, he invited Daryl Oster and the ET3 group to Space-X in the summer of 2013 before releasing his Hyperloop Alpha document and announcing the idea via most major news networks. At that time, the technical folks at Space-X who design the rockets and such suggested to Elon that ET3 is a far more advanced and elegant design than his original Hyperloop idea. They suggested he write a check to ET3 then and there to fund the ET3 effort.

To date, The Hyperloop One/Virgin effort being the first to build and test an evacuated tube environment project – abandoned most of the Hyperloop Alpha concept leaving a tube, capsule with the redesign looking a lot more like ET3. Unfortnately, that effort to date cost investors and the rest of us 10 years to date and over $200 Million USD. Somebody needs to ask why. Today, we could have been and should already be building out these networks and the $200 Million would have gone a long way toward that effort.

It’s an important question to ask ourselves – how do we want to travel in the future? Do we want it to cost like bus fare, but get you there in record time and convenience? When listening to people like Musk, it becomes clear that Hyperloop was never an effort he was going to pursue, but instead, looking at the Hyperloop Alpha document, it becomes clear that his mind’s dreams were always going to be in the skies flying in rockets and fast planes. For him, Hyperloop was a means of sandbagging efforts already underway that would undermine his dreams of flying. 

Further yet, it’s still amazing that there’s mention trains, vac trains, hsr or high speed rail and such in the same breath while speaking about Hyperloop technology. Ironically as well, it’s also interesting to note that Hyperloop was always intended to be a subsonic travel technology – not hypersonic as its name tries to convey. The only known design that’s hypersonic potential is ET3.

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