Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Dream On the Verge of Becoming a Reality
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, refers to this form of travel as the "fifth mode" aka the Hyperloop. Hyperloop Transportation Technology, a contender of Musk, has already reached an agreement with Slovakia to build their first Hyperloop system there. If successful, it will connect Bratislava, the country's capital, with Budapest and Vienna.
Musk is also encouraging the speedy process of development by hosting a universal competition through SpaceX to design a feasible passenger pod. "I'm starting to think this is really going to happen... It's clear the public and the world wants something new," Musk said at Texas A&M University's design weekend competition.
Musk flies frequently between Los Angeles and San Francisco and was inspired with this futuristic idea due to annoying traffic in LA. His plan is to reduce the travel time between the two cities from six hours to a meagre 35 minutes. "Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment," Musk wrote in a white paper posted on the SpaceX website in August 2013.
For this system to work, it needs special environment, that is a low pressure pod, lifted on air's cushion and travel at supersonic speeds through these tubes. Or as Damon Lavrinc tells Wired, "Load yourself into an enormous shotgun shell and shoot yourself 400 miles across the state at 800 mph."
Musk says that each pod is capable of holding as many as 12 people and the system will be built on sustainable solar power with little, to no impact on the environment.