Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, better known as the co-founder of both PayPal and Tesla Motors, has unveiled plans for a $6 billion solar-powered high-speed transit system that would travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
During a conference call with reporters, Musk presented his 57-page “alpha” design of the Hyperloop, which features capsules going at speeds of up to 760 miles per hour inside pressurized air tubes. They would shoot through the tube by air, and speeds would be accelerated by a magnetic system of points inside the tube. Think of it as like an air hockey puck gliding on the table.
Although the tubes would be at high speeds, passengers are seated in low-pressure cabins. You can see a demonstration of the Hyperloop in the YouTube video below.
While Musk’s hyperloop plans have now been fully revealed, the entrepreneur has been talking about improving travel for quite some time. Here is his chat from PandoDaily from July 2012 giving his vague details about his super-project.
Just before the big reveal on Monday, Musk commented briefly on the Hyperloop during a Google4Entrepreneurs hangout with Richard Branson last Thursday.
Other news sources, notably Taiwan’s Next Media, have speculated what the Hyperloop would look like before Musk’s announcement by creating animated videos that demonstrate how the hyperloop would work.