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.
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.
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