Now that we have trains, planes and automobiles to meet our travelling needs, a major upgrade, modern transportation technologies, is set to grace us with yet another supersonic, revolutionary experience, known as hyperloop mass transit. If proven successful, it will undoubtedly earn a place in automotive history.
This Prototype is Fast
Space X and Tesla Motors CEO, Elon Musk, hopes to build the world’s first 800 mph vacuum-sealed electromagnetic propulsion transportation system, dubbed as the Hyperloop, which has a prototype that has begun production. The vehicle highly resembles that of a train, which will feature windowless aluminum pods, set at 50 to 100 yards apart to be surrounded by steel tubes, encasing solar powered electromagnetic propulsion.
According to Jalopnik, engineers have broken some ground recently, testing the practicality of the model at just over 300 mph on a $100 million half-mile track just outside of Las Vegas. The first hyperloop mass transit system will begin taking shape 5 miles off Interstate 5, between the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, projecting to take passengers back and forth within a fast 30 minutes. Tesla also confirms that it will be the first Hyperloop, built for human transport at 700 mph in 2021.
The Hyperloop Plan
As a result of it’s unprecedented mode of transportation, the hyperloop will rely heavily on a new infrastructure for support, which means that the entire project will have to be made from scratch. According to Green Car Reports, the completed expanse of the concept will encompass 400 miles between the two cities and will cost an estimated $8 billion, not counting pre-development costs, valuing at less than the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s $67.6 billion high-speed rail system.
Musk first sprang the idea in 2013 as a result of acquiring knowledge about the high-speed train, with which Musk describes as too costly, impractical and too slow. The pods will assist travelers to get to where they need to go at the hyper-speed, of what Musk hopes to be, a whopping 800 mph- faster than the speed of sound. Though the company projects safe carriage at a such a lofty rate, the consequences of such elevated velocity is still unknown, in which case, further testing must be taking to ensure preventative measures.
A Mass Transit Revolution
If the hyperloop mass transit proves successful, it may just change the way we travel forever, improving inter-city transportation, especially for those who commute or travel often for work. Not only will the vehicle transport people, but Musk also suggests that the pods can carry cars as well.
“You just drive on and the pod departs,” Musks tells Bloomberg Businessweek.
The Hyperloop is also predicted to be environmentally friendly and despite safety concerns regarding air friction and heat, Musk concedes that the pods will travel at low pressure, with pockets of air to provide a cushion and safe magnetic levitation. All pods will be ascended onto skis made of SpaceX alloy, which can resist even extremely high temperatures.
At any rate, despite harrowing issues that the Hyperloop could face, if the plan takes off, this could change the face of travel. Though Musk has built a career in shaking up businesses that he deems as subpar, he has no plans in making tube travel the prominent mode of transport. However, he remains confident that the Hyperloop could be in close competition with airline industry, interconnecting cities within 1,000 miles of each other.
Nevertheless, the venture lies somewhere between road and air travel. With so many variables to consider, Musk doesn’t plan to make a country full of hyperloop mass transit systems, as he points out to Bloomberg, “1,000 miles, the tube cost starts to become prohibitive, and you don’t want tubes every which way. You don’t want to live in Tube Land.”