How would we cover a distance of 650km in just 30 minutes with a safe and highly futuristic means of transportation? The Hyperloop, imagined by Elon Musk, is an alternative very much likely to happen.
After they “invented” the Tesla electric car manufacturer and managed to give chills to the major automakers in an area that seemed impossible to attack with a completely new name, Elon Musk has big plans for the future passenger transport on medium distances. Musk envisioned a transportation system completely different from what we know at this time and which interestingly mixes ultrafast aircraft concepts, the railgun (am electric “cannon” which throws projectiles using electromagnetism) and the basic idea of the Air-hockey game board where the puck is lifted to the surface up to a millimeter by means of constant air jets coming out of the board.
The project designed by Elon Musk – officially called Hyperloop – is based specifically on a steel tube where the pressure is low and where a pressurized “capsule” that can accommodate up to 28 passengers is introduced. The capsule is retained in a semi-weightlessness state with the help of air jets “blown” by its rails and it’s driven at a speed of up to 1220 km / h by an electromagnetic linear accelerator. The ticket for a passenger would cost only $20, and the capsules could leave 30 seconds apart of each other. Passengers will withstand gravitational forces similar to those experienced in an airplane.
Only 30 minutes per 650 kilometers
According to the plans submitted by Elon Musk, the imagined transport solution will be supplied with electricity created by the solar panels covering the tube with the capsule and the traveling passengers. The system is not only innovative but also extremely efficient and fast. According to Musk’s calculations, the distance between Los Angeles-San Francisco (about 650 km in one of the busiest areas of the United States) will be covered in just 30 minutes, Hyperloop becoming much faster than an airplane (90 minutes), a car (5:30) or high-speed train which at this time is being planned in the Western U.S. (160 minutes ).
The transportation solution that the Americans thought has another huge advantage over other existing or planned systems. The steel construction of such a tunnel would take about 7-10 years, would cost a total of $ 6 billion and could carry 7.4 million passengers per year. For comparison, the superfast train that the U.S. government is planning in this area costs 11 times more (68 billion dollars) and will be much less effective.
The only problem of the Hyperloop system is linked to the fact that Elon Musk and his team do not have the time to deal with the full development because Tesla and Space X – the other ambitious project of the Americans – require a lot of resources. “We could start the project and then leave it to others to build it until the end,” said Elon Musk, who developed the idea Hyperloop as an Open Source project, so that it may be developed by any company.
The idea of traveling with an electromagnetic propelled capsule is not new, but has never been tested on the ground in real life. Elon Musk said that his theory and virtual tests show that this system is not only the fastest available for the transport of persons, but also the safest, the possible scenarios and detailed the problems being broadly solved in a public document posted by Elon Musk on Space X’s official website.