We are officially in the future. Elon Musk, an earlier feature, who can be considered a forward thinker in every sense of the word is selling us dreams again… even more incredible is that he seems to deliver on a lot of these dreams.
One such dream is the proposed Hyperloop intended to speed up sustainable travel. The Hyperloop is meant to transport people, and potentially freight, at speeds of up to, and over 1000km/h using… air. The forward thrusting power of air is harnessed by creating a vacuum using pressurised and magnetised capsules and a very long tube. Due to the capsules/pods not needing wheels the wear and tear on these pods is so small and the potential for higher speed is great because there are no flimsy wheels giving hassles.
The distance being discussed is around the distance of the Los Angeles to San Fransisco route, around 614km. This means it would take about 30 mins to complete this trip.
Critics, however, believe the trip will be too terrifying due to the speed and claustrophobic nature of the windowless pod. Obviously never having experienced high-speed magnetically propelled pods that reduce travel time to a fraction of historic time, we can rely on Teddy Roosevelt’s guidance here that: “It is not the critic who counts….. credit belongs to the one who is actually in the arena.”
Elon Musk proposed his idea in 2012 and in August 2013 a paper was published under the name ‘Hyperloop Alpha’. Budget estimates have been somewhat more realistically criticised, with Elon and team believing $6bn is a reasonable estimate for the consumer function while critics believe $100bn is a conservative estimate – we don’t really mind who is right as long as somebody can foot the bill!
Elon’s dream, of course, never ends where us mere mortals’ might with the Hyperloop conceived largely with the idea of Mars transport in mind.
Elon described in an interview that we can think of the Hyperloop as a “cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table”.