Everyone in the meetings industry spends a lot of time on the road. As airlines work through bankruptcy and states invest in high-speed rail travel, one very well-respected business mogul supports an idea that would travel between high-trafficked cities at a speed of around 4,000 miles per hour.
Yes, you read that correctly. The concept is called HyperLoop, and the man behind it is Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal. At an All Things Digital conference earlier this spring, Musk discussed the idea and the potential it holds to transform the way we get from here to there.
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“Is there a better way to travel quickly?” Musk asked as he questioned the thinking behind the current investment in a high-speed rail system in California. “Isn’t there something better that we can come up with?”
Musk says the concept is a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table. While this may sound insanely expensive and dangerous, it’s actually much cheaper than building railways or highways, and some scientists have already voiced support for what they call “evacuated tube transport.” Here’s a 45-second video that outlines the concept.
HyperLoop gained even more momentum on Monday when Musk, who also oversees operations at electric car company Tesla, unveiled more details about the concept in a blog post on the Tesla website. Musk believes that something like the HyperLoop is the right solution for “city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart.” That means the trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles would take around 30 minutes. Perhaps even more impressive than the time is the cost to develop such a project, which Musk believes would be one-tenth of the $70 billion that will fund California’s high speed rail system.
The Twittersphere ignited with thoughts from writers around the world, some of whom love Musk’s belief that travel can be transformed and some of whom scoff that the HyperLoop can ever become a reality. Interested in learning about the science behind this proposal? Click here to read more from Musk and see preliminary designs of what a vehicle in the HyperLoop could look like.