In 2012 Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and Space X, shared a concept for what he described as a ‘fifth mode of transport’. His vision was of a super high speed trackless train that shoots at 750 mph through a low pressure tube. He called it, The Hyperloop.
Back then I mentioned The Hyperloop concept to a number of friends but none believed that this was a real concept. Most people thought that I was mixing up movie plots with reality. Admittedly you could be forgiven for confusing Elon Musk with Tony Stark aka Iron Man. The similarities are uncanny. However Elon Musk is very much real and is committed to making the future a reality.
Despite publishing plans for The Hyperloop, both Tesla and Space X were very quick to distance themselves from any commercial attempts to build a Hyperloop. A statement on Space X website states;
Neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk is affiliated with any Hyperloop companies. While we are not developing a commercial Hyperloop ourselves, we are interested in helping to accelerate development of a functional Hyperloop prototype.
The statement goes on to explain how Space X are driving innovation to help see Hyperloop become a reality with a Hyperloop Pod competition for engineering students:
For this reason, SpaceX is announcing an open competition, geared towards university students and independent engineering teams, to design and build the best Hyperloop pod. To support this competition, SpaceX will construct a one-mile test track adjacent to our Hawthorne, California headquarters. Teams will be able to test their human-scale pods during a competition weekend at the track, currently targeted for June 2016. The knowledge gained here will continue to be open-sourced.
If Elon Musk does not want to build a commercial Hyperloop system to realise his dream of a 30 minute commute from LA to San Francisco, then who is? Enter Hyperloop Technology. At Web Summit 2015, Rob Lloyd, CEO of Hyperloop Technology, shared his companies goal and vision of a working Hyperloop making it’s maiden journey by 2020.
In conversation with Katie Linendoll of Popular Science
at Web Summit, Rob Lloyd predicted the Hyperloop’s very own Kitty Hawk moment which he hopes will take place by late 2016 when a 400 mph open air test will take place across a 2 mile track in California. For anyone wondering who Kitty Hawk is, she’s not another Marvel character. Kitty Hawk was the location in North Carolina where the Wright Brothers first achieved a few short seconds of manned airplane flight.
Hyperloop Technologies has a vision of a future where their Hyperloop transport system will allow commuters to live longer distances from work in more affordable locations, free up waterside property for residential use by moving large ports further in land with high speed connections to the sea as well as potentially some day reducing our reliance on air travel with a safer, greener, faster, earthquake-proof, weather-proof, more reliable mode of long distance travel.
The Hyperloop is further evidence of how we are living in an era where science fiction is turning into reality on a daily basis. Today’s children will more than likely look back with complete dismay at how we spent so many hours of every day sitting in traffic jams whilst commuting long distances from suburbs into cities for work. To borrow a tag line from Hyperloop Technologies, “…tomorrow arrives today…Hyperloop Is Real”
For more info on the technology behind Hyperloop check out: