The man who pioneered fast electric cars now wants to catapult us between cities in a tube. Billionaire U.S. entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled plans on Monday of a futuristic “Hyperloop” transport system – something that is capable to trim the travel time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a journey of nearly 400 miles to 30 minutes at a price that’s less than an airline ticket.
Yes – he’s talking about 800 miles per hour speed.
The PayPal and Tesla founder said in its 57-page design plan that the Hyperloop arrangement could be implemented between any pair of cities situated up to, say, 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) apart. For longer distances, air travel probably would be more efficient, he said.
Musk has previously said that Hyperloop will be a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table.”
As many as 28 passengers could ride in each pod and the system could even transport vehicles, according to Musk, but it will cost about $6 billion to build this and construction would take 7 to 10 years.
The principle is somehow simple: Capsules would catapult through a large, nearly air-free tube. Inside, they would be pulled down the line by magnetic attraction. Electromagnets would zap the craft forward at high speeds — some would say “ludicrous speed,” in the words of the classic film “Spaceballs.” The whole system would be powered by solar panels installed onto the tubes.
But the investor is unlikely to build any such network himself and is hoping that others will now take up the challenge with him.