Almost a year after first suggesting the idea, the co-founder of Tesla Motors has announced plans for a solar-powered, city-to-city elevated transit system that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
This particular project is already creating waves by challenging existing modes of transport, such as California’s $70 billion high-speed train – a project that Musk says is too expensive, slow, and impractical.
The Hyperloop on the other hand could be built for $6 billion with people-only pods, or $10 billion with pods capable of holding people and cars. All together, his alternative would be four times as fast as California’s proposed train, at one-10th the price, and a trip could even rival the cost of a plane ride.
The Hyperloop would carry people inside aluminum pods that are enclosed inside of steel tubes. These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart – meaning less impact on farmers, who could still farm their land instead of having swept away for construction.
Best suited to journeys under a 1,000 miles, Musk says that any further would make the costs prohibitive, and much like the California high-speed train project, a waste of resources.