A billionaire has revealed the details of his planned new superfast way to get from one place to another and he says that the new system could take people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in just a half of an hour.
If Elon Musk’s big transportation plan happens, people will be getting inside what he’s calling the Hyperloop, which would transport people via aluminum pods enclosed inside of steel tubes.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Musk describes the design as looking like a shotgun with the tubes running side by side for most of the trip and closing the loop at either end. These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart, and the pods inside would travel up to 800 miles per hour.
Musk has reportedly hinted at this before, but he now adds that pods could take cars as well as people.
“You just drive on, and the pod departs,” Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek in his first interview about the Hyperloop.
Musk, a co-founder of PayPal and co-founder and current CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, confirmed that he won’t have the time to make the Hyperloop himself, but hopes others will take up the plans or offer improvements and feedback, according to Huffington Post. During a live conference call following the reveal however, Musk said he will "probably" build a Hyperloop prototype.
Musk figures the Hyperloop could be built for $6 billion with people-only pods, or $10 billion for the larger pods capable of holding people and cars. All together, his alternative would be four times as fast as California’s proposed train, at one-tenth the cost. Tickets, Musk says, would be “much cheaper” than a plane ride.
The billionaire also envisions the Hyperloop providing a smooth ride.
“It would have less lateral acceleration—which is what tends to make people feel motion sick—than a subway ride, as the pod banks against the tube like an airplane,” Musk said. “Unlike an airplane, it is not subject to turbulence, so there are no sudden movements. It would feel supersmooth.”
For Musk, the Hyperloop is best used when traveling between cities less than 1,000 miles apart that have considerable traffic on the ground. Travelers would also avoid the long wait times during check-ins, takeoffs and landings necessary for air travel.