High-speed mass transit seems to be the way forward for the world’s urban multitudes, inspiring futurist Elon Musk released his plans for a so-called “hyperloop”. A hyperloop could zip people across America at speeds in excess of 800 mph. One of Musk’s former underlings has joined a crowd-sourced hyperloop inspired by the Tesla Motors CEO.
Dr. Marco Villa, former director of missions operations at SpaceX, is joined by former American Society of Civil Engineers director Dr. Patricia Galloway in heading a crowd-sourced corporation on the funding site JumpStartFund. Unlike other crowd-sourcing sites, JumpStartFund allows groups to form corporations for much more ambitious projects, like the hyperloop. There are other private companies already testing hyperloop projects, but riding the coattails of Elon Musk could give Villa’s attempts a better footing.
Villa, Galloway, and a handful of others have received Musk’s blessing to work on the hyperloop project, as he has stated he has no time to work on the project between running Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Musk says a hyperloop could make the trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco in just 30 minutes, tickets would be priced around $20 each, and the infrastructure cost would only be around $6 billion. Compare that to the estimated $40 billion California’s high-speed rail project is estimated to cost, with tickets priced at $81 for a three-hour trip.
On paper the hyperloop sounds like the better deal, but is the technology really there yet? Elon Musk seems to think so, and now there is both brains and potential financing behind the project. Will we see a hyperloop come online in our lifetimes, or is this still too sci-fi?
Source: Popular Mechanics