Monday, August 19, 2013

I Won't Be Riding The Hyperloop from Hollywood to San Francisco

Clearly Elon Musk is a brilliant entrepreneur, the mind behind PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, with SpaceX flying the first private rocket to the International Space Station.

For awhile now Elon Musk's idea for a new method of public transportation has been in the news.

That new method of transportation puts humans in a capsule in a vacuum tube traveling at a speed of around 700 mph in a contraption called a Hyperloop.

When I first heard about the Hyperloop idea the capsules were zipping from New York City to Los Angeles. When Elon Musk announced the details of his idea that version of the Hyperloop was an alternative to the high speed bullet train type rail California is trying to build, connecting San Diego to San Francisco.

Elon Musk estimates a Hyperloop between San Diego and San Francisco would cost a fraction of the estimated cost of the California bullet train, which is currently on target to be both the world's most expensive bullet train, per mile, and the slowest.

Elon Musk's Hyperloop idea sees a tube built above ground, with the course following Interstate 5. Each Hyperloop capsule would carry 28 passengers, with capsules being launched, north and south every 30 seconds during peak travel times.

Somehow the Hyperloop idea envisions passengers being able to get out of the capsule and off the tube and various stations along the route.

How quickly does the Hyperloop reach 700 mph I can not help but wonder? Zero to 700 in a minute? Five minutes? It would seem that the G-Forces on the humans in the capsule would be tremendous.

Personally, I would prefer taking a slower mode of transport, one with windows, than be stuck in a tube like that which I stick a deposit in when I go to my bank's drive-thru.

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