Elon Musk has had a very successful career already, being one of the co-founders of PayPal, the founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX and the Chairman of Solar City, he has his work cut out for him.
Yet he has still been able to draw up the concept for a superfast travel concept in the space of a few months, with the help of some talented engineers from Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City. Musk originally came up with the concept after months of hating the route from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
With a new $100 billion high speed rail service proposed, Musk decided to formulate the Hyperloop. This would be a new lower cost, higher speed and lower energy solution to the problem. He proposed the idea yesterday at a talk and described an 800mph tube that would shoot a passenger train from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under thirty minutes.
This would work through a magnetic pull pushing the carts along at a super fast rate, because of the lack of air in the tunnel, the Hyperloop would gain enormous speeds. The whole journey would be powered by solar panels and the technology behind the Hyperloop could be developed with Tesla Motors and other motor equipment already available.
Musk highlighted some other advantages of the Hyperloop, like the fact it would be almost impossible to crash the high-speed train and the energy is a lot lower than driving in a car or even taking a plane. He did say commercial airplanes would be better over long distance, but for short travels it would be the ideal solution.
This is where the news starts to get a little dim, Musk said he would not be ready to develop the Hyperloop. He is invested in SpaceX and Tesla Motors and believes the expense of building the Hyperloop is too much. He did say he would invest in the prototype if no other company was willing to give the idea a shot.
For the Hyperloop passenger service it would cost $6 billion and take Musk about three to four years to complete. For the Hyperloop with car transport, it would cost $10 billion. Musk said it would take another 6 years for the Hyperloop to fill the gap from LA to SF after it had been fully tested.
Musk and his team are open to all suggestions on how the alpha design can be better and for the moment it remains a concept, even though Musk said he could develop it in a year if he was not so busy currently. We hope to see a strong investor hop in and try this development out, perhaps a government would be kind enough to try the Hyperloop idea out.
With Edinburgh to London perhaps being one of the most convention train service routes in the UK and always being redone, we could see the UK as an ideal place to try out the Hyperloop, if the UK government was willing to invest in the high-speed service.