Elon Musk unveils details of high-speed Hyperloop tube transit system

Elon Musk has managed to build a waiting list of people hoping to get into his Tesla Model S, but its premium price has limited access to the luxury electric sedan. Will the masses line up for a ride on Musk’s latest project, the $10 billion Hyperloop? In a blog post published today, Musk unveiled his vision for a high-speed transit system for near-supersonic city-to-city commutes. It looks something like this:

No, wait. It looks like this.

Actually, those aren’t that far off. This concept sketch is the real deal, at least as it exists in Musk’s head. And yes, it does travel in a pneumatic tube.

Gizmodo reports that hypothetically, the Hyperloop could carry passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in about 30 minutes and cost a tenth of the estimated $70 billion cost of a similar high-speed rail line. But who wants to ride on something described as “a cross between a rail gun, the Concord, and an air hockey table”?

  • Lotte Lenya

    Step One to Real-life Elysium?

  • Anyone00

    Eh, if he can get private funding and the various governments to get out of his way and allow him to acquire the land (without eminent domain abuses) and test the viability of this product: good for him.

  • Guest

    What really matters is whether Toure’ likes this Caucasoid Science. If it passes his Race, Gender, Class test, then it’s OK!!! Thumbs up!

  • Maxx

    Oh great. A ride inside a tube where the guy waiting for you on the other side is called “Sub Zero”


  • peteee363

    it will never work. so you leave your car at one end, and need another one at the other? this thing needs to work with what we use now, or it stands no chance of being used. also, would you want to be traveling at these proposed speeds during an earthquake?

    • ICOYAR

      I would assume they would have compartments for cars in one of the trains.

      • AaronHarrisinAlaska

        The prototype for the passenger car is certainly big enough to fit a car in.

    • Bathing Suit Area

      You leave your car behind when you take a plane. This is no different.

      • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

        Or maybe, they’ll have a slightly larger Hyperloop tube, where you can load your car, and it can go with you. Ortr, (See above), it can be a fast Cargo/freight mover! Think about that… Jawamax 8<{D}

  • http://www.freedomreconnection.com CO2 Producer

    Pfft. I built my own prototype decades ago. Where’s my $500-Quadrillion?


    Hope it is safe, cheap and easy to maintain, clean, and politicians stay out of this.

    • Jay Stevens

      At least four of those five things will never happen.

  • bedfordthegreat

    It may be able to work as a substitute for airplanes, but not for private cars.

  • AaronHarrisinAlaska

    The locomotive, the automobile, and the airplane all met with the same dismissiveness and ridicule. If they manage to get private funding for a small scale production and it turns out to be as convenient as they say, I’ll support it.

    • Jay Stevens

      The stopper there is “private funding”.

  • Maxwell

    Hyperloop sounds painful. How is it going to be comfortable to go 100s
    of miles an hour in a tiny tube for half an hour? Sounds like hell.

    Still rather ride in the Hyperloop, than an airplane.

    • GaryTheBrave

      I think Heidi was being sarcastic. I have thought of flying to Australia but sitting in a tube for 15 hours.

      • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

        That “Tube” would be about 2-1/2 hours from L..A., about four from New York. I heard it goes over 1,000 miles an hour. Jawamax 8<{D}

      • Maxwell

        That, and you’re thousands of feet off the ground wirh tour life entrusted to a complete stranger. Yeah, I would rather take the boat, at least I know I can swim if something goes wrong.

        • Jay Stevens

          OK. You are on a ship halfway between San Francisco and Honolulu. Your ship sinks. How far can you swim?

          • Maxwell

            Farther than I know I can fly :p Although realistically, if a plane or a ship go down halfway between Honolulu and San Francisco your chances of survival are slim. The plane would probably be destroyed from hitting the water, and the ship can pull you under while sinking if you’re not in a life boat. Even if you are in a life boat, you can still die of starvation or dehydration while waiting for help.

    • SRVDisciple

      and what if you have to pee whilst in the Hyperloop? or worse? I guess they make you take an Imodium before boarding?

  • ceemack

    Why would I want to get to San Francisco in 30 minutes?

    Now, if it could get me to Vegas in 20 minutes, I’d be interested. As would the casino industry.

    • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

      About 30-35 minutes from the East coast, shorter if you’re west of the Mississippi. Jawamax 8<{D} YW

      • mike_in_kosovo

        I don’t think it’s going to be *that* fast…probably more on the lines of 2/3 the travel time of current jets…which is still an improvement!

    • Jay Stevens

      But then we would not need the multi-billion dollar high speed rail link between southern California and Las Vegas.

  • John

    It’s not people where this is the charm. People may not want to travel in a tube at 800+mph, but imagine the possibilities of freight at 3 or 4 times that speed.

    • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

      When I saw it on Fox News last night, I thought the same thing! Jawamax 8<{D}

  • Truth

    It could be the greatest thing since the horseless carriage but once the EPA get going with their “environmental impact studies”, it’s likely to grind to a halt. Don’t want to disturb any bugs or rodents.

    • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

      If you’ve ever been to the Transit Museum in New York City, remember…This is how the Subway system there got started… Jawamax 8<{D}

  • John Thomas “Jack” Ward III

    From New York to La-La Land in 45 minutes!! Cramped into a small tube, of course, but you have the option to stop every fifteen minutes and stretch your legs. This looks like a fast, safe, closed-contained transportation system, but if there are any “bugs” in it, they need to be worked out…Like the amazing speed, will it make people sick? Can’t wait to see it in action… Jawamax 8<{D}

    • Jay Stevens

      Why would the speed make people sick? Flying in the Concorde didn’t make people sick and that was more cramped than a conventional jet.

  • MarcusFenix

    As much as the idea of fast travel appeals to me, since it would make visiting some family and friends incredibly convenient….

    Being moved around in an oversized Habitrail kind of makes it lose some of its appeal. Unless the vehicle is ball-shaped, then I wouldn’t worry as much! LOL

  • Justin Jurek

    How about we just privatize Amtrak and let them figure it out?