Monday, August 12, 2013
Elon Musk Unveils Hyperloop, A New Vision For Transportation
Not one to be shy about grand visions, technology mogul Elon Musk unveiled his plans this afternoon for Hyperloop, a system for transporting people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in mere minutes, using aluminum pods which are sent at speeds of up to 800 miles per hour between the cities.
In plans he released Monday afternoon, Musk said that Hyperloop would transport people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in only 30 minutes, using an elevated track above the I-5. Musk is selling the system as an alternative to California's high speed rail. Musk said he was "quite disappointed" with the plan by California to build what Musk says is "one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world". Musk said his alternative is both an alternative to flying or driving, and is ideally suited to high traffic cities less than 900 miles aprat.
Musks's Hyperloop design revolves around an elevated tube and solar-powered pods which are based on a round, induction motor similar to the one in Tesla's Motel S, rolled flat, which will power the pods through a high speed tune for their 350 mile journey. Musk said in his design notes that those motors will accelerate the pod to "high subsonic" velocity, and that solar panels placed on the tube will generate energy "far in excess" of the energy needed to operate the system.
Musk is not a stranger to grand plans--the most prominent move by Musk, who helped to found PayPal, was to develop his own, commercially launched rocket company, SpaceX, the first company to develop and successfully launch its own rocket into space. SpaceX has successfully docked with the International Space Station, and is now working towards delivering not just supplies and satellites, but also astronauts, into space. Musk also founded electric car company Tesla Motors.