Elon Musk Talks Hyperloop Transportation System

Monday, November 19, 2012

Elon Musk Hyperloop idea

Future of Transporation
While on stage at this year's Economist Innovation Awards, Elon Musk of SpaceX let slip a few more choice details about his "Hyperloop" high-speed transportation system that would see commuters travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes.
On the stage at this year's Economist Innovation Awards, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors and SpaceX offered up a few more details on his "Hyperloop" high-speed transportation system. Musk wants to take astronauts to the International Space Station and he wants to colonize Mars. He has already helped promote and advance electric vehicles and now with what Musk calls it the Hyperloop, he is pursuing a system that never crashes, ignores the weather and is twice as fast as your average plane.

Hyperloop would see commuters travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes, describing the concept for the first time as a cross between Concorde and railgun.

During a show-stealing acceptance speech, Musk explained that, in order to be worth while, the technology must exceed the merits of existing transport systems by being much faster and cheaper while remaining weatherproof and, safe.

Musk further hinted that the Hyperloop transport would leave as you arrived to board, and have to deal with "right of way" issues. It may sound outlandish, but there was a time he talked this way about commercial spaceflight and we know the results there.

ET3 tube transport system

Possibly the concept is similar to the ET3 Transporation system that is currently in a funding and research stage.

In July Musk commented that,
This system I have in mind, how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes three or four times faster than the bullet train... it goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. 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. 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. Yes, this is possible, absolutely.
According to Wikipedia, his friends claim he’s had a Hyperloop technological breakthrough over the summer. “I’d like to talk to the governor and president about it,” Musk continues. “Because the $60 billion bullet train they’re proposing in California would be the slowest bullet train in the world at the highest cost per mile. They’re going for records in all the wrong ways.”

Musk considers the Hyperloop to be the fifth mode of transportation, following "planes, trains, automobiles and boats," and it would take commuters "from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes." Right now that trip takes six hours by car, nearly twice that by train as there's no direct connection and just over an hour by air. A flight, of course, means a time buffer on either end as you work through an airport, so it'd be more than an hour, even.

What the Hyperloop would actually look like — even in basic terms — is still up in the air, though Musk stated that he may make the details known to "anyone who can make a credible case that they can do it." Musk also cites Aeromovel as a similar transportation network, meaning that the Hyperloop could take advantage of a similar pneumatic transportation guideway.


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