When Elon Musk isn’t busy running Tesla Motors, Solar City, and SpaceX, he is dreaming up crazy sci-fi ideas like the Hyperloop, which could zip people from New York to L.A. in minutes, not hours. But while Elon Musk is too busy to invest any time or resources into the Hyperloop, a team of 100 scientists and engineers have come together to make the Hyperloop a reality.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc. has just signed on its 100th person to an incredibly talented team of researchers from Boeing, Harvard, and even NASA who will sink their free time into furthering this transportation project. The Hyperloop aims to make high-speed rail redundant with an 800 MPH vacuum tube system that could zip people between San Francisco and L.A. in just 30 minutes, and turning a profit selling tickets at just $20 a pop.
Musk estimated that such a project would only cost between $6 billion and $10 billion, far cheaper than the estimated $68 billion the California High Speed Rail project is set to cost taxpayers. It would also be a lot faster and less intrusive than the traditional high-speed trains, with small capsules sending a few passengers at a time rather than massive locomotives hauling ass through alfalfa fields.
The Hyperloop team released a new batch of concept and idea documents to show the forward progress of the project, which it hopes to pay for using JumpStartFund, a crowdsourcing platform “…that allows entrepreneurs to build communities of experienced professionals around their projects.”But will the Hyperloop displace the long-awaited high speed rail project, or is this one of those sci-fi visions that’s just too far ahead of its time?