I swear that Elon Musk is the Mad Scientist of the 2010s.
The guy has his hands in the Tesla Motor Company, SpaceX, and now he’s introducing a way for people to travel from LA to San Francisco in the span of a half-hour. If you think that that’s no big deal, please realize that both cities are separated by 380 miles of California (it’s a big ass state).
The Hyperloop is a proposed setup by Mr. Musk as a cure for the usual hustle and bustle traffic that regularly travels to and fro by car or plane. Just imagine cutting 5 hours of driving or 3 hours of airport bullcrap by traveling in the Hyperloop. The Hyperloop, if you can follow along in your imagination, is an enclosed transit system in where a vehicle essentially rides along on an air cushion within a lower air pressure tube as it’s propelled along by powerful electromagnets. Think of it like a giant human filled rail gun that fires across an air hockey table.
The car is able to run at speeds that are above supersonic or for you uncultured people, that’s 800+ miles per hour. It accomplishes this by running in a low pressure air tube that significantly reduces the air resistance that normally would slow it down.
Musk went on record as saying that if the person running the project was adept at project management, that it could be completed within 4 years, but if he were to give it his all it would only need 2 to become reality. The infrastructure would consist of one-inch thick walled tubes of 50 to 100 yards in length that would be built above ground running in line with I-5 ideally in the interstate’s median for most of the distance. For those bits that wouldn’t be, securing the land rights for an elevated tube would be much cheaper than a whole road.
I think it’s a fantastic idea that would be neat to see come to fruition, but I don’t see something this cool getting funding from the California legislature who just secured enough money to fund a high-speed rail system. Though it’s a great plan. I can only hope that Mr. Musk would front his own cash to prove to others what he’s got planned.