Try Hyperloop, rocket travel, and robotic avatars. Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph) passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown Las Vegas in under 30 minutes. Rocket Travel (think SpaceX's Starship) promises to deliver you almost anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Think New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes. As 5G connectivity, hyper-realistic virtual reality, and next-gen robotics continue their exponential progress, the emergence of "robotic avatars" will all but nullify the concept of distance, replacing human travel with immediate remote telepresence.
The tube is out back, 11 feet in diameter, 60 feet long, the unfinished end spiraling into wide ribbons of steel--like a gigantic Pillsbury dough container with its seams gaping open. Behind the tube is a big blue tent known as the robot school, where autonomous welders wheel or crawl along, making the tubes airtight. The goal is to put tracks and electromagnets inside the tube and vacuum the air out. Ultimately, capsules will scream through the center of such a tube at 700 miles per hour on a cushion of air--a way to get from A to B faster and more efficiently than planes or trains. The first public tests of this concept, albeit on an open-air track, will take place in North Las Vegas this week.