It almost sounds like an idea from a Jules Verne science fiction novel, but Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla Motors and Space X, wants to create a system of tubes linking major cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles in which passengers could be propelled at speeds of as much as 700 mph.
The system, Musk said in an online proposal, would be called the Hyperloop, and would be somewhat similar to the pneumatic tubes used at banks and stores to move paperwork around. The concept would borrow some of the technology developed for maglev trains – though operate at twice the speed. And it could eliminate some of the hassles and delays of air travel, according to Musk.
Short of figuring out real teleportation, which of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment,” wrote Musk, the Internet entrepreneur who is fond of laying out his ideas in Twitter and blog postings. (more…)