When Elon Musk initially announced his intention to take transportation to the next dimension it was like “The Flintstones” hearing about “The Jeffersons”; simply unbelievable. The billionaire has revealed plans for the Hyperloop; a high-speed transportation system that could potentially carry passengers at the incredible speed of 800 MPH.
Hyperloop is hypothetical at this time, and one day could become a reality. It’s a type of high-speed transportation developed by Elon Musk, who is an inventor and the founder of SpaceX. Musk has created the system as a completely different mode of transportation; an alternative to the methods we currently utilize. The system would, in theory, be able to transport people across the country in fewer than 30 minutes. Musk says the cost connected with Hyperloop is only about 10% of California’s proposed high speed rail plan. Even though California is excited about its potential plan, funding has continued to present a problem. Musk says Hyperloop is the alternative.
Like many California residents, Musk is does not trust California’s current plan. “The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving,” says Musk in a post describing Hyperloop.
The Hyperloop will utilize a unique construction that will include tubes made out of steel as well as the addition of solar panels for power. Inside the Hyperloop system, individual cars or “pods” will function as the main compartments. These compartments would arrive at the Hyperloop station very frequently; about every two minutes or so. The pods would be equipped to carry both people and cars, much like a ferry, only not on water. Musk’s proposed invention would create a travel situation with almost no delays. Each compartment would utilize a type of rail system, and air would flow through each pod, so that the compartment would function almost completely on hydrolics.
Because cost is always a concern, Musk’s vision is to keep the project on budget by building the system above existing highways. This would eliminate the need for the traditional protective fences for trains that run on the ground; a major construction cost. Musk says that the consumer cost would come to just $20 per person, which represents a large savings over both flying and driving. In fact, Musk’s system would be much cheaper than any existing form of transportation.
Getting the plan to completion is going to take a lot of work and cooperation. Previously, Musk has placed similar concepts on the table, but none of those plans ever made it past initial discussions. This vision, however, is the most fully developed, and Musk is pushing to get all key decision makers on board.
The Hyperloop could theoretically be built with the funds that currently exist in California High Speed Rail Authority’s coffers, but if those funds were to be used, the entire system of stops would have to be redesigned and the existing plan would come to a halt. The existing plan, though, will take billions to see through to fruition, and that could potentially work in Musk’s favor.
As talks progress, Musk will have to get both decision-makers and technicians on his side. If he succeeds, the entire future of transportation as we know it could change.
Elon Musk has revealed his plan for passengers to ride in capsules, or pods, within a tube at up to 800 miles per hour. Although the actual construction of the system would be performed by engineers if the plan passes, Musk would remain the inventor and visionary who revolutionized travel.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)