It’s finally out. Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX, has revealed details of his much-talked about Hyperloop transport system. He posted them on Tesla’s blog this afternoon, right at the time he said he would.
You can view the file in its entirety at the bottom of the page, but here’s the gist of it.
Tesla’s Musk is disappointed with other forms of transit
The Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO said in his blog post that when the announcement about California’s high speed rail system was revealed, he was “quite disappointed.” He said investing in a new transportation system should come with several improvements, like greater safety, speed, cost and convenience. He also said it should be “immune to weather,” earthquake resistant, self-powering, and “not disruptive to those along the route.”
His disappointment resulted in his idea for the Hyperloop, which he believes is the best solution for cities that are no more than 900 miles apart. He then goes on to explain why he thinks certain previous suggestions, like the idea of a giant pneumatic tube, are just not good ideas.
Finally, he explains what his Hyperloop is.
The Hyperloop works like a gun
Musk said the transport system would use aluminum pods inside steel tubes and work similar to the way a gun propels bullets out of the barrel. The tubes would run next to each other for the majority of the trip until they reach the other side, and they would be mounted 50 to 100 yards apart. Each of the pods would then shoot through the tube at an incredible 800 miles per hour. He said the aluminum pods could even be used to drive cars in addition to people.
He estimates that the transport system would be about a tenth of the cost of the rail system California is planning to build and that tickets could be priced at less than it costs to buy a plane ticket. The pods would travel four times as fast as the proposed rail system and remain about five miles apart. As such, he said there could be about 70 pods traveling between Los Angeles and San Francisco, with each leaving every 30 seconds or so.
Safety on the Hyperloop
Of course Musk did include some safety features, like an emergency brake, and he also compared riding on the transport system like “getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland.” He said it wouldn’t have as much lateral acceleration—which would reduce motion sickness—as a subway ride. And in short, “It would feel supersmooth.”
A Hyperloop map
Walter Hickey of Business Insider took a look at the proposal and California maps to determine where the Hyperloop could go if someone decided to build it. It would take about 35 minutes to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
In case you’re wondering when Elon Musk, head of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX, would have time for yet another project, you’re not alone. Musk himself regrets ever bringing up the idea of the Hyperloop because he doesn’t have plans to develop it himself. He said he must focus on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SpaceX and basically wouldn’t be able to take on yet another project.
Well, there you have it. Real-life Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) or not, Elon Musk is human, after all.