Elon Musk on Monday revealed details of a high-speed transportation system dubbed the Hyperloop. The proposed city-to-city transit system would rely on solar power to take passengers – and even vehicles – from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just 30 minute at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour.
It may sound like science fiction to some but Musk believes he can pull it off. The Hyperloop would consist of steel tubes with aluminum pods inside for passengers to ride in. It’d look something like a giant shotgun with tubes running side by side for the majority of the trip.
The tubes would be mounted to columns 50 to 100 yards apart and would, for the most part, follow the I-5 freeway between the two cities. The system presents much less of a land rights issue as the tubes would be elevated unlike the state’s proposed high-speed rail system.
The train system is expected to cost upwards of $100 billion according to the PayPal co-founder. In comparison, Musk said he could build the Hyperloop for $6 billion with people-only pods and $10 billion for a system that can carry people and cars. He said the Hyperloop would be four times faster than the proposed train and cost a tenth to build. Tickets would sell for much less than a conventional plane ride, we’re told.
Riding in a pod would be a much more enjoyable experience than, say, an airplane or even a subway as you wouldn’t have to contend with unexpected turbulence, ill effects of cabin pressure changes and lateral motion changes. Naturally, there would be an emergency brake if something were to go wrong.
Musk said the transit system is designed to link cities that are less than 1,000 miles apart that have heavy traffic between them. Cross-country treks are out of the question for now as cost starts to become prohibitive when you cross the 1,000 mile marker.