SF to LA in 30 minutes? Is he kidding?

Entrepreneur Elon Musk, the man behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, says he'll unveil his revolutionary Hyperloop transportation system next month.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 15, 2013 3:52PM

Credit: From left: © Jack Plunkett/AP
Caption: From left: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk gives the opening keynote at the SXSW Interactive FestivalYou probably wouldn't consider Elon Musk (pictured) as having a boring, predictable mind. The founder of the commercial space exploration venture SpaceX also founded Paypal, now owned by eBay (EBAY).


Bloomberg reminds us he's chairman of SolarCity (SCTY), a rooftop power producer whose value has increased over fourfold this year. Musk is also CEO of groundbreaking electric vehicle company Tesla Motors (TSLA).


So it's not surprising that the technology and business sectors are buzzing with gossip about Musk's plans to unveil a new mode of public transportation next month -- something he calls Hyperloop.


For his part, Musk is being coy about his latest pet project -- describing it in a recent interview as a crash-proof and weatherproof "cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table." Hyperloop, he says, will be able to move people across the 350 or so miles between downtown Los Angeles and San Francisco in a half-hour.


The speculation amongst the nerd class as to exactly what Hyperloop might be is rampant.


Science writer and research and development specialist Brian Dodson, who also has a doctorate in physics, recently suggested at Gizmag that Hyperloop could be a pneumatic transport system where "people ride in capsules that travel within the tube at around 1,000 km/h (620 mph), but the air in the tube also moves at that speed, so the capsules move with very little air drag."


The concept could make air travel obsolete, proclaims Hot Hardware's Paul Lilly. "Not only that, but tubes could be built underwater for international travel," he added. "Assuming it proves safe -- really, would you want to experience a crash at 4,000 mph? -- Hyperloop systems could be the way future generations travel."


Musk tweeted Monday that he will publish an early Hyperloop design by Aug. 12 -- and asked for feedback on his work.


CNet, meanwhile, reports Musk doesn't plan to pursue a patent on Hyperloop, and will publish his information as an open source project.


Stay tuned: Aug. 12 could be very, very interesting.


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147Comments
Jul 15, 2013 5:07PM
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Put Congress in that capsule and it'll take 30 YEARS to get there.
Jul 15, 2013 4:48PM
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What's the difference of cashing at 100 mph and 4000mph? Dead either way.
Jul 15, 2013 4:14PM
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California will still spend $100 Billion putting in the bullet train between LA (sort of, Bakersfield) and SF (sort of, San Jose) that will take 3 hours.

 

Thanks Jerry Brown

Jul 15, 2013 5:29PM
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I'm stoked !!! Will they have drinks???  This would sure make the airline world sit up and take notice.... no more crappy service or cramped seats or flight attendants with attitudes.... SIGN ME UP !!!
Jul 15, 2013 6:30PM
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How about a loop from Washington DC to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  One way only.  Free to any government employee, mandatory for elected officials.
Jul 15, 2013 5:33PM
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I'd rather get to Vegas in 30 minutes
Jul 15, 2013 6:24PM
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This man thinks outside the box. It is an intriguing idea. Physicists and other scientists will be doing research to try and achieve this noble objective. Why are people ridiculing his idea? Edison tried over 100 times before he perfected the light bulb. I hope the naysayers just shut up. This isn't a political interest.
Jul 15, 2013 6:20PM
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I'd rather crash at 4000 mph. That way I'm dead before I know what's going on.
Jul 15, 2013 5:33PM
Jul 15, 2013 6:05PM
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About two years after this tube-transport is built California will fini**** tens-of-billions-of-dollars high-speed train system.  California lawmakers are stupid.
Jul 15, 2013 5:29PM
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Where do I go to invest in this?

 

Jul 15, 2013 5:40PM
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Nevada is still crawling out of this depression (not recession).  How about hyperlooping from L.A. to Las Vegas?  We need the money.

Jul 15, 2013 4:14PM
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The should run the capsule in a vacuum tube: no air drag.
Jul 15, 2013 5:43PM
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I once saw Wiley Coyote tie a hyperloop to his butt...seems to me there was a problem with the brakes though
Jul 15, 2013 5:23PM
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Fakju, they said the air would be moving the same speed, so there would be NO air drag. Sounds like a vacuum to me, Get it?

Jul 15, 2013 5:43PM
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You would think he could afford to get that ugly growth off his cheek.
Jul 15, 2013 6:05PM
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They ask would you want to experience a crash at 4000 MPH?  There would be no experience... it would be lights on, lights off.
Jul 15, 2013 5:36PM
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How about a system like the between NYC and Washington, NYC and Boston & Washington, oh hell, all up and down the East Coast.
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