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The Next Web reports that Elon Musk is getting ready to unveil an 'alpha design' for his next big idea:

Entrepreneur and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk will publish an “alpha design” for Hyperloop, an entirely new form of public transportation that is faster than the bullet train and potentially self-powering, on August 12.

Details about Hyperloop are slim, but it’s clear that as always Musk has lofty ambitions for the project. He has described it in the past as a “cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table,” although that says little as to its form factor or underlying technology.

Yahoo! reports:

Musk, the man behind both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has spoken about a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, a tube transport system that would allow passengers to travel at high speeds. The proposed system could reduce trips between San Francisco and Los Angeles to minutes, and reaching the East Coast from California could take under an hour. Crazy as it seems, the company ET3, based out of Longmont, Colorado, has already been hard at work making this a reality...

A video about the ET3 Evacuated Tube Transport, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. And a country that won't even spend money to repair its defective bridges will spring for the infrastructure on something like this. You bet.

    Posted by: Butch | Jul 15, 2013 1:29:46 PM


  2. it will be a private venture, I am sure, cutting through whatever nature is left in between destinations... can only imagine the first accidents... sounds cool, but a drive across country is so wonderful...

    Posted by: V-8 | Jul 15, 2013 1:32:46 PM


  3. Oh agree about it having to go private. We all know how functional our Congress here is don't we?

    Posted by: Tom | Jul 15, 2013 1:35:54 PM


  4. very cool, I'd go anything to avoid the airports

    Posted by: bructer | Jul 15, 2013 1:36:37 PM


  5. Reminds me of those tubes at bank drive-thrus. Pretty cool

    Posted by: Luke | Jul 15, 2013 1:48:06 PM


  6. V-8

    not exactl....nothing large scale has EVER in history been a "private" venture let alone just in america

    all large scale ventures throughout history have some sort of collectivist government input if nothing else than lets say the emeperor of rome raising taxes on temples to pay for aquaduct building

    some examples in the US that u might think were private and are technically private owned now were not started as private ventures = railways/ trains/ aviation invented by wright brothers but furthered by US gov involvement and improvement on, electrcity ( think the rural electrical program etc) etc etc etc

    in some way the ideas will have to recieve some sort of collectivist Government intervention if nothing else but tax right offs and low interest loans

    Posted by: Moz's | Jul 15, 2013 1:50:07 PM


  7. I agree, very cool.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jul 15, 2013 1:50:32 PM


  8. @V-8 they theoretically could just build them above existing train lines where possible. Or replace one completely.

    Posted by: Tonez | Jul 15, 2013 1:51:53 PM


  9. PS; probably not original to tesla man

    http://challenge.bfi.org/application_summary/51

    ^ a buckminster fuller institute challenge/ project semi-finalist

    The Water Bullet: Small-Diameter Vacuum-Enhanced Mag-Lev

    Posted by: Moz's | Jul 15, 2013 1:54:02 PM


  10. Fascinating!

    Posted by: Joel V | Jul 15, 2013 2:07:17 PM


  11. @moz's

    Um, you sure about your history there? I don't think that's correct at all.

    Posted by: Eric | Jul 15, 2013 2:07:34 PM


  12. The original NYC subway system was pneumatic too. I don't see how one can build a tube from NY to CA. How do you handle the need for multiple connections, two-way traffic and break-downs? If you create a vacuum you don't need mag-lev either.

    Posted by: anon | Jul 15, 2013 2:25:02 PM


  13. This reminds me of the transportation system in Gene Roddenberry's "Genesis II" and "Planet Earth." There's a visionary!

    Posted by: Joesph Foster | Jul 15, 2013 2:29:47 PM


  14. @ Joseph

    ah yes, the VACTRAIN

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vactrain

    actually 1st proposed in 1910 & later used (improved fictional version) by rodenberry for his later projects

    Posted by: Moz's | Jul 15, 2013 2:34:03 PM


  15. Hmmmm .. But will gay couples who are considered married in both NY and LA remain married while they're inside the Hyperloop and traveling across various state lines?

    Posted by: Rexford | Jul 15, 2013 2:38:08 PM


  16. "I've sold monorails to Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook, and by gum it put them on the map!"

    Posted by: awwwwyeeeea | Jul 15, 2013 2:38:47 PM


  17. This nearly makes my head explode...Imagine the possibilities!

    Posted by: jason | Jul 15, 2013 2:42:59 PM


  18. I love all the science input here from commentors. I'M SURE ELON MUSK NEEDS TO KNOW THESE THINGS. I CAN'T BELIEVE HE HASN'T THOUGHT OF THESE ISSUES.

    As to cost, if you read the article, you'll notice that it is significantly cheaper than most other proposed methods of high speed travel.

    Posted by: Fancy | Jul 15, 2013 3:08:59 PM


  19. Reminds me of the 70's Logan's Run movie.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Jul 15, 2013 3:17:44 PM


  20. I love stuff like this, but if it were as cheap as they say, it would have already been built.

    Posted by: Merv | Jul 15, 2013 3:36:02 PM


  21. I think the thing I'd be worried about is what happens if it malfunctions at that rate of speed.

    Posted by: Joe | Jul 15, 2013 3:40:25 PM


  22. The only way this will ever be feasible is if the ultimate cost of a ticket is reasonable enough that regular people will actually be able to afford to utilize it. If this is built, but tickets coast-to-coast cost $10,000 or more, it'll just be a novelty for the rich for awhile until they tire of it.

    Posted by: Jere | Jul 15, 2013 4:01:38 PM


  23. It does sound like Elon Musk might have seen Gene Roddenberry's "Genesis II" where he envisioned "an elaborate "Subshuttle" subterranean rapid transit system. The Subshuttles utilized a magnetic levitation rail system. They operated inside vactrain tunnels and ran at hundreds of miles per hour. The tunnel network was comprehensive enough to cover the entire globe."

    Posted by: norseman | Jul 15, 2013 4:15:39 PM


  24. The earth is a globe. If you cut these as tunnels through the crust you wouldn't have to follow the curve of the Earth as much and could get closer to a straight line between two points. That would make the distance traveled shorter leading to time and cost savings.

    Keeping the vacuum seal would be an interesting technical hurdle.

    Posted by: SRH | Jul 15, 2013 5:04:40 PM


  25. Nobody reading this site will be alive when such a project is actually completed. It's taken years just to correct the WiFi on the Acela "fast" trains. "Jetson"-like visions take forever to complete in a society as politically dysfunctional as ours.

    Posted by: keating | Jul 15, 2013 5:13:25 PM


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