Hyperloop: Another Potential Disruptive Idea


Hyperloop By Elon Musk, Chairman, Product Architect & CEO, Tesla

"When the California "high speed" rail was approved, I was quite disappointed, as I know many others were too. 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? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying "one of". The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn't the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.

Marc's note: Musk has put forward another potential disruptive idea that if enacted could disrupt terrestrial transportation as we know it. Musk has made it clear he doesn't have the time to devote to this project but would be willing to collaborate with others and having someone else take the lead. Any takers?"

Update: In a teleconference Musk said his thinking has changed and he would like to build a "demonstration article".

"The underlying motive for a statewide mass transit system is a good one. It would be great to have an alternative to flying or driving, but obviously only if it is actually better than flying or driving. The train in question would be both slower, more expensive to operate (if unsubsidized) and less safe by two orders of magnitude than flying, so why would anyone use it?

If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return should by rights be equally massive. Compared to the alternatives, it should ideally be:

Lower cost
More convenient
Immune to weather
Sustainably self-powering
Resistant to Earthquakes
Not disruptive to those along the route

Download the Hyperloop Alpha document (PDF).

  • submit to reddit


Battelle Research and Infrastructure.
Support SpaceRef, NASA Watch and the Astrobiology Web on Patreon.

Join our mailing list

Commercialization: Monthly Archives

Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Marc Boucher published on August 12, 2013 4:21 PM.

Paper: Easily Retrievable Asteroids Discovered was the previous entry in this blog.

Masten and JPL Team Up is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.