Meet the Hyperloop, the possible future of transportation

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk isn’t exactly one to dream small: Just look at his plan for a so-called Hyperloop transportation system, which would reach speeds of more than 700 mph, has just been officially unveiled.

While a network of tube transports that would make a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco as short as 30 minutes seems ridiculous, remember that Musk is also leading SpaceX, which aims to commercialize space travel.

Said Musk in his unveiling of the Hyperloop:

When the California “high speed” rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?

As for how the whole thing works:

Hyperloop consists of a low pressure tube with capsules that are transported at both low and high speeds throughout the length of the tube. The capsules are supported on a cushion of air, featuring pressurized air and aerodynamic lift. 

The capsules are accelerated via a magnetic linear accelerator affixed at various stations on the low pressure tube with rotors contained in each capsule. Passengers may enter and exit Hyperloop at stations located either at the ends of the tube, or branches along the tube length

All of that said, there are no immediate plans to construct the loop, and that the project is currently “extremely speculative.”

Read through Musk’s detailed proposal here, or check out our own coverage of the loop here.

Photo: Tesla Motors

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    Oh it’s all hypothetical, Elon? Well then I guess San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours 38 minutes at an average speed...
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