It’s a Musk


I’m back in the USA as of lunchtime today. Some of you may have heard about the big announcement while I was away, but I wanted to put in my two cents anyway. Elon Musk, the co-founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors, posted a 57-page “alpha design” plan on his blog that details how the high-speed train would work. He was referring to the Hyperloop, the new super-speed transport that would take take people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes, at 800 miles an hour. I talked about the announcement of this innovation, that Musk promised on August 13th, a few weeks ago. Musk has been talking about this invention for over a year, in addition to his Space X project which promises to give Earthlings the opportunity to go planet hopping.

Apparently, there are still plenty of skeptics who feel Musk is a science fiction writer. Plenty of them took the recent disclosure from Musk as another opportunity to poo poo his ideas. High level executives at other types of transportation companies have a difficult time imagining people being transported through tubes in pods. Well respected engineers question the design, lwhile others say the entire proposed budget of $6 billion is a fantasy. Projects like building bridges or tunnels cost way more than that. A few cited the estimated $68.4 billion that the California High-Speed Rail Authority has budgeted for a high-speed rail.

I am not one who believes Musk is smoking something. I have seen too much innovation in the last ten years to question any new concept. I never thought my entire office would be operated from a mobile device, that I would have all of my newspapers and magazines rolled into one flat pancake that is backlit, or that I could type any question in the world into an electronic window and get it answered within seconds.

Details on Hyperloop Revealed



Elon Musk and possible Hyperloop renderings

Every major publication that covers tech technology jumped on this story yesterday. Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and chairman of Tesla Motors, tweeted that he will publish the Hyperloop alpha design by August 12th.

Here’s his tweet:

Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
7/15/13, 10:06 AM
Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.

Musk is referring to his new type of train that he claims can travel like “a puck does on an air hockey table.” I talked about the hybrid train in an earlier DigiDame post when I profiled Musk.

The Hyperloop, Musk claims, is a hybrid between a train and a plane. The mission is to make the trip between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 30 minutes, which is an average speed of approximately 800 miles per hour. It takes six hours by car and one-hour-and-15 minutes by airplane.

In a recent interview with AllthingsD, Musk said that the proposed costs of his Hyperloop are $6 billion. Right now, the state of California has plans to build a much slower train for $60 billion.

Many California residents are rooting for Musk, while industry members question his sanity over this project. I’ll bet on Musk, even though it may take another five years plus to put the first shovel in the ground.