Tesla Motor’s CEO Elon Musk recently revealed his plans for a new green vehicle, dubbed the “Hyperloop” that could transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes flat. Musk (who brought us PayPal and the Tesla Model S electric car) recently discussed the new transit system, which would be twice as fast as a plane, three to four times faster than a bullet train, and entirely powered by solar energy.
Currently the fastest way to get from Los Angeles to San Francisco is by plane, which takes about an hour. Tackling the trip in a car takes even longer at around six hours, but if Musk’s new Hyperloop becomes a reality, travelers could travel between the two California cities in as little as 30 minutes. “You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport,” Musk stated. Even better, Musk states that the new transit system would rely solely on power from the sun.
“I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There’s a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries.”
The thought of having a new mode of transportation between the two cities that is reliable, inexpensive, resistant to crashes and green seems almost too good to be true. Right now we have no idea what this would look like (or a time frame), but Elon Musk expects to release more info in the coming weeks. Musk discussed the Hyperloop while sitting down with Sarah Lacy at the first ever PandoMonthly event in Santa Monica, CA.
Via Dvice and The Atlantic
Lead image: the Aeromovel train is a similar concept to the Hyperloop
Let's follow the clues. I don't know why Musk is coy but it's a fun game. It's not an evacuated tunnel. It think it might be a supersonic mag-lev inside of a 'tuned pipe'. The 'tuning' is the secret Musk trick. (along with the batteries and the electronics). I don't think he's making up random sci-fi ideas and might have something possible. I wrote my ideas down here: gotohere.com/hyperloop/Hyperloop.html
I like the idea and thank you for working on one of the biggest issues we have. To be competitive with the rest of the world you need a great transportation system even Christopher Columbus realized this or the Queen did. I would like to see this as model and then made into a amusement ride and a transportation system that would bring you from the outside of Atlantic City NJ over the boardwalk and if possible underwater and to the board walk. This would be an attraction that would help bring people to AC and great for all the engineering schools in the tri state area. The tri state area has the largest amount of engineering schools. Thanks Elon Keep up the good work! Jim Murray Lumberton Nj
"Vacuum tube" mag-lev trains reaching max 4000 km/h and doing New York - Tokyo in 1,5 hours has been a matter of speculation already for 4-5 years. This might just be the first bird in testing out the tech? The key here is the fact that there is no air-friction turning this virtually an "aerodynamically" perfect transportation saving energy and allowing amazing theoretical speeds while being super-smooth and stabile.
The Chinese have already figured out how to make all "high speed trains non-stop". They are also working on a "600 mph maglev train". Google "Next Big Future" and search the site with those terms for the details.
Evacuated tube transportation technologies (www.ET3.com) is the future movement system for Californians. New and old cities require rethinking as found in www.starkorecity.com. It appears that most city transportation “planning and fixing” thoughts are not focused on infrastructure input flows for goods people, water, power and communications. Output of solid and liquid waste is unimproved. Mobility is the priority for increasing city cost/benefit value by design. A network that collapses time and distance with speeds of 350mph brings proven capabilities, skills for jobs to manufacturing and construction. This vision is the tipping point required to again take America forward out of monetary catastrophe.
A mass driver would do this well. Why we're not using it for space launches is still stupid.
It is easy to say we could do this, but the reality is do you really want something that large and heavy travelling at that speed, right over a geologically active fault line? Also, define 'inexpensive', tickets sold would have to cover the cost of design, manufacture, test and installation, in addition to operation and maintanance. Thus 'inexpensive' means for people of means like Elon Musk! Cost depends on ridership and how many people really travel between LA and SF on a regular basis? Daily? Weekly? At that speed there would be no stops at intermediary cities, so the ridership would be very limited. I coiuld go on and on... But like the Tesla, this is not really for the masses.
I want to believe the next fairy tales as much as anyone, but as an engineer who designed & built his first solar, earth-bermed house in the 70's, I have a request. Please vet these feel good fantasies of wealthy entrepreneurs against actual physics before broadcasting happy talk. Otherwise it becomes noise that distracts. It used to be the purview of Sci-Fi writers looking to get an advance on the next book. Now it's a stage play in search of millions in gifts and loans. If Mr. Musk had actually brought forth the engineering support or even announced the deposit of millions of dollars toward the project, it would move me. In lieu of that happening it is merely a dream-scape that opportunistically shines a spotlight on a man who makes his money inside a credit company. Note: Mr Musk elevated the Tesla Dream into a $465 million loan from the energy department. A dream that has yet to show profitability and is on a lifeline that appears it could end in 2013.
I'm sure this would cost well into the tens of billions and would be one of the largest (non-military) public works programs in US history. If we could secure funding, this would be an amazing investment in jobs, transportation, modernization and inspiration, but that's a very big "if".