Elon Musk, the co-creator of PayPal, Tesla Motors, SolarCity and founder of SpaceX, is preparing to release information about his fast-travel option (dubbed the ‘HyperLoop’) on August 12. The space entrepreneur has a keen interest in alternative energies and modes of transportation.
With all the mystery around the project, here are five fast facts you need to know about Elon Musk’s HyperLoop.
1. The Loop Will Transport People From San Francisco To Los Angeles In Only 30 minutes
Right now, if you wanted to travel from Los Angeles to the San Francisco bay area, it would take either 12 hours by train, around 8 hours by car, or an hour and a half by plane. It’s not the simplest journey, and for one reason or another, Musk is looking to revolutionize travel between the two major cities. With his new project, dubbed the ‘HyperLoop,’ Musk claims he will reduce that travel time to 30 minutes. How he plans to do that has yet to be seen.
2. The Train-Like Vehicle Will Travel Faster Than An Airplane
Yes, you read that correctly. Musk has claimed that the HyperLoop will not only beat the speed of an airplane, but will travel at twice the speed as fast as the average speed of an aircraft. It has been speculated that the technology that allows for this kind of travel most likely involves a maglev train running in vacuum tubes.
That sounds pretty awesome.
3. Musk Believes It Would Cost Around $6 Billion to Build
With this revolutionary idea in the works, one of the first questions raised is how much it will cost. Musk believes it will only cost $6 billion to construct the service. Juxtaposed against the current plane for a bullet train with service between San Francisco and L.A., promising a casual 3 hour journey, is predicted to cost around $68 billion, Musk’s plan doesn’t sound that bad.
But when you consider that Musk will also have to buy a significant amount of private and public land to develop the project, that development costs skyrockets.
4. Musk Plans To Release The Technology Open Source
Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
Yes, you also read that right. Musk is planning to release the system’s technologies to the world open source, which means that anyone can look at, use, manipulate, or take advantage of the information for themselves. But Musk has his reasons for taking that approach.
I really hate patents unless critical to company survival. Will publish Hyperloop as open source.
He also believes that it will help him get outside criticism, calling for ‘critical feedback for improvements’ and that it ‘would be much appreciated.’
So, if you’re an engineer or some sort of scientist, there may be a job open for you.
5. Elon Musk Will Reveal ‘Hyperloop’ Specifics Next Month
Musk describes the Superloop “a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air-hockey table.” We will finally be able to see an alpha design for the revolutionary vehicle on August 12, so get ready.