New York to Philly in 10 minutes
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has introduced innovative ideas to the market before, but his latest company may have the most futuristic flavor of all. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies was Musk’s vision to build a massive transit system that shoots pods of people around in above-ground tubes between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under an hour.
It’s quite literally a long shot. That’s why the company has employed the skills and savvy of 100 engineers from across the United States, from NASA to Boeing and all the industry leaders in between, to spend their free-time molding Musk’s dream into some semblance of reality. A recent 76-page report outlines how, with some $16 billion, a six-hour drive could take less than an hour via Hyperloop, and cost the rider significantly less than a train — $20 to $30 versus $60 to $70. For East Coasters, that’s New York to D.C. in 21 minutes.
“It could dramatically change the way people live and work in cities,” the report said.
On the technical side, imagine the pressure tubes used to move mail or messages. The idea is to combine low air pressure with magnetic acceleration, and power the entire thing with solar energy. Riders would sit in pods that shoot around in tubes. Still, engineers haven’t worked out all the details, like what material would work best or if the technology would allow for long trips across the country.
Philadelphia was among those cities deemed to be worthy of investment due to the right combination of population, proximity to other hubs and riders who need a more affordable way to travel.
“It currently takes about 1 hour and 57 minutes to travel by car via I-95 South from New York to Philadelphia,” the report wrote. “For roughly the same amount of money spent on gasoline per trip, $20, commuters can make it to their destination in just minutes in comparison by taking the Hyperloop.”
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the Hyperloop is that it has used crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing through Musk’s JumpStartFund to refine and finance the idea.