"A hyperloop is a theoretical mode of high-speed transportation sketched out by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk. Musk envisions the system as a 'fifth mode' of transportation: an alternative to boats, aircraft, automobiles, and trains. Musk, who has expressed his intent to develop a prototype hyperloop, stated that it "could revolutionize travel", but the technological and economic feasibility of the idea has not been independently studied.
A hyperloop would be, according to Musk, "an elevated, reduced-pressure tube that contains pressurized capsules driven within the tube by a number of linear electric motors." Musk's design calls for a capsule that would ride on a cushion of air forced through multiple openings on the capsule's bottom. The design proposes "a combination of active and passive means to reduce the negative effects of choked airflow."
According to the initial "Alpha" design released on August 12, 2013, a hyperloop would enable travel from the Los Angeles region to the San Francisco Bay Area in 35 minutes, meaning that passengers would traverse the proposed 354 miles (570 km) route at an average speed of just under 598 mph (962 km/h), and a top speed of 760 mph (1,220 km/h). The suggested route runs from the northern San Fernando Valley to the Hayward/Castro Valley area, paralleling the Interstate 5 corridor for most of its length. The "Alpha" proposal estimates a US$6 billion budget for a passenger-only version of the system, while a version allowing for transportation of both passengers and cars would cost US$7.5 billion. Musk's cost projections have been criticized by transportation engineers and others, who contend that the sum is unrealistically low given the scale of construction required and the level of unproven technology involved."
The Hyperloop is a conceptual high-speed transportation system popularized by...