Tesla, SpaceX Founder Unveils 800mph 'Hyperloop'
Elon Musk finally explains the next big thing in transportation
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2013 4:32 PM CDT
   (Elon Musk)

(Newser) – Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla Motors and commercial space company SpaceX, has finally unveiled the "Hyperloop," his much-hyped new transportation system idea. And it's pretty far out there. It's a bit like a human shotgun, explains Businessweek: people would sit inside aluminum pods, which would shoot through steel tubes at up to 800 miles per hour. It could also potentially hold cars. The pods would be mounted on skis above an air cushion, launched by an electromagnetic pulse and magnets, then propelled along the route by motors. "The pod can go just below the speed of sound relative to the air," says Musk.

Musk's vision is for a Hyperloop from LA to San Francisco, fueled by disappointment in the planned $70 billion California high-speed train, which he thinks will be too slow and expensive. Musk estimates a Hyperloop following the I-5 would cost $6 billion to build with pods just for people, or $10 billion for pods that could hold people and cars. Beyond that, he says, the system would work best for trips under 1,000 miles, like New York to DC or Boston. However, sci-fi fans and Californian commuters may be disappointed to learn that Musk has no plans to commercialize the Hyperloop yet. "I’m just putting this out there as an open source design," he says. "I still have to run SpaceX and Tesla." But if no one else takes his idea and runs with it, he may find time "down the road." You can read Musk's blog post on the Hyperloop here.

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Aug 13, 2013 4:26 PM CDT
" Musk's vision is for a Hyperloop from LA to San Francisco" Oh, just an excellent idea for a route ! Could anything go wrong there?
Aug 13, 2013 12:09 PM CDT
Strong man has idea, weak man carry gun.
Aug 13, 2013 11:51 AM CDT
When I heard Musk's hyperloop idea included room for cars, I thought -- Wow, put my Tesla S on the hyperloop and I'd have my wheels at the end of the trip! Maybe, Elon would sell discount tickets for the hyperloop! Alas... I guess we'll have to leave it to the Japanese, Chinese or French to bring the idea to fruition. a la Europe's TGV or Japan's Bullet Train.