Elon Musk Will Build A Hyperloop Track For Ultra-High Speed Transport Tests

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Oh, you thought Elon Musk had moved on past the whole Hyperloop thing? That ultra high-speed transportation system he first started talking about back in 2013?

That’s understandable. It’s been a while since he’s said much about it.

He’s still thinking about it, though. In fact, he’s just committed to building a test track for the concept.

Details are still sparse, but Musk tweets:

And to encourage people to get involved, he’s considering a competition league to see which student group can build the fastest pod:

Literal pod racing!

Here are the key points of what we know about the Hyperloop system Musk wants to build:

  • The first full-size Hyperloop track (read: not this test track) would run from LA to SF.
  • Musk’s design group estimates the cost of the LA -> SF track to be around $6 billion.
  • That trip, based on totally conceptual estimates, would take 35 minutes.
  • The conceptual top speed is roughly 760 MPH.
  • Musk believes the Hyperloop would work above ground or below ground.
  • The concept works by sending pressurized pods through a tube. This tube is (theoretically/hopefully) kept at a partial vacuum, allowing the vehicle to move within significantly reduced air resistance. The pod itself floats on a cushion of air, with the pod’s design meant to utilize air-pressure buildup — which would generally slow a vehicle down — to its advantage.