The Hyperloop is real, and here’s what it might look like

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Entrepreneur and tech visionary Elon Musk is well known for his crazily impossible groundbreaking ideas. One such idea is the Hyperloop, a conceptual ultra high-speed transport system capable of whisking occupants from one end of the country to the next in two hours–give or take. The best thing about it? A trip would cost passengers very little because the whole thing would be solar-powered.

His idea was just that: a rough sketch of something theoretically possible, but maybe not plausible.

Pods suspended in a vacuum-tube would travel up to 745 mph, making a trip from LA to San Francisco in about 30 minutes. Because the tube is suspended far above the ground, it would be relatively safe from weather and earthquakes. If Musk is right, then the Hyperloop would cost only $16 billion to build, much less than the $68 billion high-speed rail that California is debating right now.

The reaction to this news was swift: a lot of very intelligent people erupted with loud, harsh criticism, pointing out the many potential flaws in his design or questioning the cost. It was 2013 when Musk first unveiled the Hyperloop, and we haven’t heard too much in the way of reliable, actionable information since then.

Luckily, that hasn’t stopped a group of students working out of a masters-level studio in UCLA’s architecture school, Suprastudio, from expanding on Musk’s initial plans. In fact, although Musk expressed no interest in building the Hyperloop himself, he recently announced the construction of a prototype track in Texas.

Here’s a short video with a few more details on what they’re trying to accomplish:

Could Musk’s Hyperloop dream someday become a reality?

As of now, it’s anyone’s guess. But things are looking up.

Suprastudio is coordinating with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, an LA startup devoted to making Musk’s bold plan work. Together, they released an in-depth whitepaper detailing potential routes, designs and roll-out strategies. They even ranked locations in order of benefits versus needs. In addition, a number of conceptual designs have been released.

Check ’em out:

Hyperloop 1

Well, artwork certainly makes it LOOK futuristic…

Hyperloop 2

Hope you’re not claustrophobic or prone to motion sickness! ZOOM!

A list of all the cities in which the Hyperloop might have the most economic benefits.

A list of all the cities in which the Hyperloop might have the most economic benefits.

What do you think of Hyperloop plans thus far? You be the judge, and sound off with a comment below!

About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running memyselfandrobot.com, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.

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