Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk recently revealed a few more details about his proposal for the Hyperloop, transit he says could take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in half an hour. We know it's not a bullet train. So what the heck is it?
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Musk, an inventor who gained fame for his involvement starting Tesla Motors, PayPal and SpaceX, mentioned the Hyperloop idea last summer in a talk with PandoDaily's Sarah Lacy. He's called it "a cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table" and suggested the transit would be cheaper and faster than a bullet train.
Musk has said the Hyperloop will be a non-scheduled service that leaves as soon as passengers arrive. He's also said it's going to be immune to the weather and won't crash. He promises to share more information this summer.
Responses have ranged from this is pie-in-the-sky insanity to this could totally happen. A few caveats: The word "train" feels like a misnomer here. Also, I am not a physicist. But Gizmag's Brian Dodson is, and he just did a thorough job parsing what's known about the Hyperloop in an impressive attempt to figure out how this mysterious transportation system might actually work.