The company developing Elon Musk’s Hyperloop idea claims passengers could be traveling at close to the speed of sound within the next two years, having just filed for a building permit in California.
The Hyperloop concept involves firing a train full of people through a low-pressure tube at speeds of up to 750 mph. It has been described by Musk as a mix between Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table. It could take you from Los Angeles to San Francisco in under 30 minutes.
In the middle of the Nevada desert, on the outskirts of Las Vegas, this potentially revolutionary method of transportation is beingHyperloop, the supersonic train, has been proposed and put forward by inventor/entrepreneur Elon Musk, the founder of online payments service Paypal, electric car company Tesla and aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.
But what exactly is Hyperloop, and how realistic is it as mode of transport? In this video, IBTimes UK explains.
How does Hyperloop work?
Hyperloop was first revealed by a white paper written by Musk in 2013, who said that he didn’t have time to work on the system himself. Instead, it was left an open source design, with anyone free to use and modify it.
Using a vacuum tube with almost all air removed, capsules carrying passengers or cargo would be pushed along by a series of electromagnets. The almost complete lack of friction due to low air pressure means the train could travel at speeds of over 800mph, and 760mph with passengers on board.
Effectively, this would mean that a proposed Hyperloop system between Los Angeles to San Francisco would take only 30 minutes and a rail system between London and Edinburgh would take a similar time.
Rob Lloyd, the CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, one of the two Los Angeles-based startups working towards making the innovative system a reality, said that one of the main advantages of Hyperloop is that it requires very little energy.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is being led by its CEO and a group of over 100 scientists and engineers. Musk has previously said he would take the idea forward himself if he wasn’t so busy leading other companies like Tesla.
By Alfred Joyner for IBTimes
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