My husband and I have an ongoing debate – whether or not we’ll get to experience teleportation in our lifetime. And while the ability to transport ourselves from one place to another without bothering with the space between is still a far off dream, at least we’re one step closer to magically traveling at speeds of 750 mph. This is thanks to the brain of visionary Elon Musk, owner of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who offered his Hyperloop concept to anyone willing to give it a go back in 2013. He envisioned the ability to transport people from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 35 minutes vs. a six or seven-hour drive by car. And, that was only the beginning …
Hyperloop One picked up the baton, becoming the first company to run a successful test of their Hyperloop custom propulsion system. They are confident that Hyperloops will be running by 2020. Hyperloop One CEO, Rob Lloyd, believes, “Hyperloop is faster, greener, safer, and cheaper than any other mode of transportation.” Currently, constructing a high-speed rail line in California costs $35 million per mile. A Hyperloop would cost a mere $10 million per mile of two-way track by comparison, though the costs for operating and maintaining it are still unclear. It’s being touted by some as the energy-efficient, carbon free transportation of the future.
But, is it safe? Eh … Maybe not, at least not yet. The challenge becomes transporting people in a vacuum-sealed tube, levitated by electromagnetic forces, while traveling at high velocity without suffocating them and turning them into SPAM (Yes, I mean “meat in a can”). So, while I won’t be volunteering to take a test ride in 2020, I look forward to the day when we can safely travel at warp speed cross-country, and being witness to a technological breakthrough the likes of which we haven’t seen since the invention of the airplane. In the interim, I think I’ll stick with the electrons in Watt-Ahh® for an energy boost!
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*Hyperloop images courtesy of Camilo Sanchez