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Elon Musk unveils ‘Hyperloop’ plans

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By Emi Kolawole, Published: August 12 at 6:46 pm

SpaceX and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk on Monday released his concept for a transportation system that could deliver passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes — if it is ever built.

The billionaire entrepreneur estimated that the “Hyperloop” — a solar-powered, earthquake-resistant, pod-based transportation system — would cost $6 billion and take 10 years to build, assuming it can be built at all. The train would run on a “round induction motor” similar to the one used in Tesla Motors’ Model S.

“It should just feel really super smooth and quiet, and obviously there’d never be any turbulence or anything,” Musk said during a conference call Monday after posting the 57-page plan to his Web site.

Musk, who had told Tesla investors he had no plans to build the system, said he would be open to building a prototype that he would hand off to someone else to build if no one else offered to do so.

Earlier this month, during a Google Hangout with Virgin Group founder and chairman Sir Richard Branson, Musk said the catalyst for the Hyperloop was the disappointment he felt after reviewing plans for a $68 billion high-speed rail system being built to run between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

In the paper posted Monday, Musk wrote: “How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL – doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars – would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world?”

Musk said he started thinking about the idea roughly18 months ago, and started involving others about nine months ago. The concept he laid out was compiled by a team of roughly a dozen SpaceX and Tesla employees working alongside Musk. But putting together the report was “very much a background task. It wasn’t anybody’s full-time job,” said the entrepreneur.

Musk said that even if he developed a prototype, he would not do so in the interest of making “a ton of money”, and that the plans would remain free for the public to use.Musk also tweeted shortly after releasing the plans Monday that they were not the final version and that another version with “several late arriving corrections” would arrive in a few hours.

“I would like to see something like this happen,” said Musk. “It would be cool to see a new form of transport happen.”

So, how do we do it? Do we even want to do it? The report outlines a number of challenges, including air pressure and an adequate power source. Offer up your edit on Elon Musk’s Hyperloop plan, and up and down vote other people’s edits. And if you don’t want the Hyperloop, let us know that too. Who knows, sometimes the best plan is the one that starts from scratch.

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Taken from The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2013/08/12/elon-musk-to-reveal-hyperloop-plans-after-a-trickle-of-hints/

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This entry was posted on August 12, 2013 by in News Articles and tagged , , , , , , , .
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