Elon Musk is no stranger to game-changing ideas. The visionary
was behind PayPal, then one of the first attempts at commercial
space travel with SpaceX, as well as CEO of market darling
Tesla Motors (
, the surging electric car maker.
However, his latest idea could very easily top them all, and
revolutionize transportation as we know it, the "hyperloop". The
transportation mode has been called by Musk as a 'cross between a
Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table', and is intended
to get travelers between San Francisco and Los Angeles
in 35 minutes
What's a Hyperloop?
The hyperloop is basically a passenger tube that shoots
capsules in a low vacuum environment, reaching speeds of 760 mph.
In essence, passengers are moved like a puck on an air hockey
table, except in a controlled environment that has the ability to
slow down and speed up as needed.
Musk believes that the total cost of such a program can come
in below $10 billion-a fraction of the total cost of the current
proposal for California's high speed rail system. Meanwhile, not
only will it be far faster than the rail proposal (which is
expected to top out around 220mph), but Musk believes that a $20
one way ticket is possible with his plan (you can read the
full PDF file of the proposal here
However, many have come out against the idea, saying that it
will not work for a variety of reasons. Chief among them are
concerns over earthquakes, as well as fears about the air
pressure. There are worries that
the compressed air would create too much heat
, or that a small leak might prevent the near vacuum from staying
at appropriate levels.
But what do you think of this proposal; can something like
this be achieved for less than $10 billion?
And most importantly, if you had the opportunity, would you
invest in it?
After all, most passenger transportation modes-such as
or American's parent
-have a pretty terrible track record, while passenger rail as a
private entity is extinct in the U.S. for similar reasons.
On the other hand, seemingly anything Musk touches turns to
gold-a look at TSLA's stock price over the past year is a pretty
good reminder of this-and it is hard to say why this would be any
But what do you think?
Let us know in the comments section below!
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