Elon Musk details proposed Hyperloop transit system

By Shawn Knight · 14 replies
Aug 12, 2013
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  1. 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...

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  2. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    This sounds idealistically wonderful and I would enjoy seeing something like this in my life time to enjoy.

    I still wonder what is the capacity? If it cannot meet the demand the prices will go up, or if there is a long wait time to use the pods you might find yourself having to take an alternate mode of transport.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    Well, duh. The train system would be a govt project and the hyperloop would be a private one. Having bottomless pockets and no incentive to cut costs does tend to inflate the price a bit. California didn't get to $400 billion in debt by cutting corners after all.

    Honestly though, I'm just jealous because the only thing my city has that SF doesn't is snow.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  4. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    "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."

    Does the sun even generate enough energy to get something up to eight hundred miles per hour? To get to 1,000 mph, a land car had to use 30,000 hp rocket engines. I don't see how Mr. Musk expects to generate that much power using the sun. If he can, maybe he should put that power to a better use, such as powering homes and businesses off the electric grid.
    RenGood08 likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Well if you have 400 Miles of solar panels, I'm fairly certain anything is possible.

    Not to mention the fact that your equation above doesn't account for vacuum. Vacuum is supposedly the main key in removing friction, which allows for less power requirements.
  6. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    Awesome, idea like seen in the Venus Project (not that Jacque came up with it first but still).
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    If you look at the drawing of the car there's a spot for batteries. If they line the whole length of the tube with solar panels and connect them to the ends where they can charge the batteries, then the cars only need to run off the batteries and they can be charged when they're at the end reloading. That sounds pretty tough to pull off to me, but this guy also runs a state of the art electric car company, so I'm not going to call anything impossible.
  8. Ignoring friciton and losses, quick back of the envelope calculation: kinetic energy of 1000kg going at 1000mph = 100, 000, 000J.

    Amount of energy required to raise 1L of water from freezing to boiling: 500,000J.

    I'm quite sure we are capable of boiling 2000L of water if we want to.
  9. Air powered would rather see in advances in magnetic powered transport
  10. ImThat1Guy

    ImThat1Guy TS Rookie

    2880 people per hour per direction (24 per pod * 2 pods/minute * 60 minutes/hour). Compare this with HSR, which ranges between 15K and 20K per hour generally; Britain's HS2 under construction will have the capacity to send 26,600 people per hour out of London, with a train every 4 minutes.
    MrAnderson likes this.
  11. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    From the diagram, it doesn't seem to utilize a vacumn, but rather air cushion and magnetic propulsion. think of a high-speed elevator in a modern skyrise, but going horizontally this time. The hardest part is going to be sustaining constant capacity at the ends. Is it going to be a loop style (like a ski-chairlift) Or are the "tube" stations going to be similar to grand central stations where several tubes fill up and you can launch them within seconds of each other along the same rails, or in this case, tube.
  12. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    But the sun's power would not be constant over that 400 mile stretch. Also, if he is relying on battery technology you have to remember that the larger a mass the greater amount of energy it is going to consume. I don't think battery technology has advanced that far to where it can reliably be used to power that large of mass.

    I'm still skeptical about the long term success of Tesla Motors, but then I'm skeptical of any car that solely relies on battery technology. The concept sounds fine on paper; I'm just having trouble seeing as how it translates into practice.
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    Great way to start jobs again throughout the world everyone could be working and building these inner connecting tubes which are needed for this new transportation system.

    Construction Workers (building)
    IT Contractors (networking, computer systems)
    Security (police)

    Everyone can get back to work again.

    Take all these pet projects sending robots to Mars and take those billions and get everyone back to work.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,023   +2,555

    Does that include a truly outrageous "Gay Pride Parade"?
    What an imagination and ardor for the sound of his own voice does Mr. Musk have, ey? Wouldn't the government have to print imaginary billions of dollars in "currency" to sync up with him?

    Hey wait, maybe they put up an IPO allowing Bitcoins".
  15. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    As someone with quite a lot of knowledge of railway projects I cannot understand why this revolutionary systems has been quoted as being considerably cheaper than conventional rail. How can you confidently predict the cost of the Hyperloop when no prototypes exist? The closest comparative system would be the various maglev projects. I don't think they are cheaper than conventional rail.

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