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Have you ever dreamed about going from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 45 minutes? Maybe you’d like to visit your clients in China with only 2 hours of travel? Doing business in other countries can be exhausting. Even conventions and industry events a few hours’ drive from your office can take up valuable time. Elon Musk, of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX fame, claims to have the solution.
Since the concept of a high speed rail in the United States was announced, Musk has been protesting loudly and often. According to him, it would be the slowest and the most expensive transportation system of the planet. The project is estimated at $70 billion, but Musk wants everyone to know that he has a better solution.
His project is to develop a completely new transit grid that will allow travel around the world in a record time. The “Hyperloop” is envisioned to be a pneumatic tube which could ride either on the ground or under water. It would avoid friction, wind resistance and collisions, which would result on a high speed new way of transportation. This invention has elements of planes, cars, boats and other transport methods all wrapped up in one. “It’s a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun and an air hockey table,” said Elon Musk.
You might think that this is a revolutionary idea but it’s actually an update of an idea from the early 1900s that was never used. The engineer and billionaire Musk took the idea from a physician who suggested that the Hyperloop could be a system of closed tubes making loops from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
In addition to providing high speed transportation, the Hyperloop could be environmentally friendly as well. Indeed, if solar panels are installed on the tubes, this new transportation system would run completely on solar power might actually generate more electricity than it consumes.
After hearing all these good things about the Hyperloop, you might think that even if it works, it will only be accessible to the very wealthy – and you’d be wrong. According to current sources, the tickets should cost less than it currently costs to fly or drive between the two cities due to it’s energy efficient nature and the plan to generate more power than it uses.
A fast, affordable and environment friendly new form of transportation could be just a pipedream, or it might be a dream come true. Musk is set to announce firm plans for the project in August 2013, so get ready!
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