Growing up, one of the maxims my dad said to me was to never underestimate the transfer speed of a station wagon loaded with tape going down the freeway. Back then (the 1990s) it was a considerable transfer speed, but I wanted to see how quick it would be today.

Turns out people are still making and using tape, and tape got good. HP’s LTO tape offering gives us 1.6 TB of compressed storage in 432 mm3. Using Wolfram|Alpha, I also found out the storage capacity of a modern station wagon (the Chevrolet Bolt EV) is 0.4786 m3. Let’s say the freeway lets you hit 120 km/h and you travel 100 km. We now have a simple math problem.

And the answer is…

4730 Tb/s.

Turns out today, you still can’t beat a station wagon loaded with tape.

(This is also a very similar approach to how they moved the data for the blackhole picture.)