Developers of a revolutionary new transportation technology are preparing to make their pitch to state and federal officials, seeking grants and tax breaks to get their project off the ground.
The idea — based on groundbreaking new science — will compete with existing transportation proposals, including the repeatedly delayed Brightline West rail line, which now claims it will break ground next year.
But the latest proposal, from Las Vegas company Enterprise Quantum Solutions Group LLC, promises nearly instantaneous transit from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, for far less money than the Brightline West train, where trips are expected to take more than three hours.
The new technology, which company CEO Michael Erickson calls a “teleporter,” is based on thus-far theoretical developments in quantum computing, which Erikson says can be used to revolutionize transportation technology beyond anything in history.
“People talk about cars, airplanes, hyperloops or high-speed trains, which is all basically putting humans in containers and moving them to another place,” Erickson said. “But that’s yesteryear’s tech. What we’re doing is tomorrow’s tech.”
According to Erickson, the teleporter machine would use brand-new quantum computing to make a complete scan of an object at the sub-molecular level, and store that vast amount of information in a computer with a massive storage buffer.
The machine would then convert the object, including a human body, from matter into energy, and send that energy to another, similar machine in another location, hundreds or even thousands of miles away. The object then goes through the reverse process, and is reassembled in its original form.
According to Erickson, the process should take no longer than 30 seconds.
The technology is based on quantum entanglement first theorized by Albert Einstein, in which particles separated by great distances appeared to interact.
Thus far, Erickson said only computer simulations of his invention exist, but he said he’s confident with some help from the federal and state governments, it could be up and running as soon as 2024 or 2025. He’s seeking grants from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, as well as the Department of Transportation. From Nevada and Califorina, Erickson said he’s seeking private activity bonds, which are tax-free and generally used to build affordable housing.
The requests may put him in conflict with other subsidy-seeking projects, including Brightline West. But Erickson says the choice is easy.
“We’ve been hearing for years about a train to California, whether it’s magnetic levitation or now the actual steel-wheels-on-tracks, which is actually going backward in terms of tech,” he said. “My project will take us forward.”
And unlike the train, Erickson said the teleporter will not contribute to global warming. “The train people like to say their train is all-electric, but they never tell you that electricity is generated at least in part by burning natural gas and, in some cases, coal,” he said. “We’re using absolutely zero-emission energy to power the teleporter, which adds not a single molecule of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.”
Erickson explained that recent advances in fusion energy — in which atoms of hydrogen are forced together under high pressure to form helium, releasing huge amounts of energy in the process — will power the teleporter. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently conducted a fusion experiment that generated more energy than it took to ignite, a breakthrough that could lead to widespread use of fusion energy.
“This idea will be the wave of the future,” he said. “We just need people in the government to see the value in it, and throw some dollars behind it. But I will tell you one thing: You’ll be teleporting from Las Vegas to L.A. before you ever see a train running along the Interstate 15!”
Questioned about the timing, Erickson said he’s confident in his company’s predictions. “But even if it takes longer, even if it takes 100 years and my grandson is the one to complete it, I know this idea will work,” he said.
Erickson said he’s also expecting full-throated support from Las Vegas officials, who he said have never failed to back a transportation idea regardless of how far-fetched. He’s even looking forward to a generous tax credit package from the state of Nevada, which he predicted could even exceed the $1.3 billion the state gave to Tesla in 2014.
“There’s no comparison,” Erickson said. “Nobody can crash or burst into flames while using the teleporter!”