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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elon Musk's Hyperloop: San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 Minutes?

SAN FRANCISCO—Billionaire inventor Elon Musk unveiled plans Monday for what he has dubbed the Hyperloop, a futuristic solar-powered vehicle that promises to zip people between cities at near sonic speeds.
Whether one ever gets built is a separate question.
In a first draft of his plan posted online, 42-year-old Mr. Musk outlined how such a high-speed service could work. Unlike traditional trains, the Hyperloop would feature a tube suspended aboveground on top of pylons. Inside the tube, pods with electric compressor fans would move back and forth in a low pressure environment, gliding atop a cushion of air. Mr. Musk said he was interested in building a prototype.

Meet the Hyperloop

See sketches of the first draft of Mr. Musk's high-speed vision.
Tesla Motors/Associated Press
Sketch of the Hyperloop capsule with passengers onboard.
In layman's terms, Mr. Musk has described his designs as equal parts Concorde, rail gun and air hockey table. He estimates a California Hyperloop, which could travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes, would cost about $6 billion to $10 billion to build.


Anonymous said...

I think he must have been a fan of Gene Roddenbury's Genesis II which was based upon such a system of intercity transport.

Richard K said...

Wow - Genesis II - I havene't thought about that in years.

I've met Elon a couple of times and stayed at his place in LA once. If I run into him again, I'll have to ask him that.