Open Source of Hyperloop, Composite of Shotgun-Air Hockey Table-Concorde Concept

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Wow, have you heard about the exciting idea Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla Motors & SpaceX) has been floating recently (in the initial “Alpha” design released on Aug. 12, 2013)? It’s a solar-powered, high speed, inter-city elevated transit system, Hyperloop, that could take passengers and cars from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30-35 minutes?! Elon Musk has the vision of Hyperloop transporting people (and cars) via aluminum pods/capsules enclosed inside of steel tubes. This is what he envisioned as the ‘fifth mode’ of transportation: an alternative to boats, aircraft, automobiles, and trains.

Hyperloop pod carriage's major components (designed by Elon Musk)

Musk described the design looking like a shotgun with the tubes running side by side for most of the journey and closing the loop at either end. The tube is partially evacuated to reduce friction. The capsule or pod carriage rides on a cushion of air forced through multiple openings at the capsule’s bottom, further reducing friction. The capsules would be propelled by linear induction motors placed at intervals along the route.

Hyperloop tube (look at the solar panel on top of the tube!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tubes would be mounted on columns 50 to 100 yards apart and the pods or capsules inside would travel up to 760 mph.

Musk thinks the Hyperloop can avoid many of the land issues because the tube will be elevated and paralleling I-5 corridor (the direct freeway between L.A. and San Francisco) for most of its length. Farmers would access their land between the columns instead of having swaths of their land blocked by train tracks. The “Alpha” proposal estimates  the Hyperloop could be built for $6 billion with pods/capsules for passenger only version or $7.5 billion for larger pods holding both people and cars. It is designed to link cities less than 1,000 miles apart (if above 1,000 miles, the cost would be prohibitive) with high inter-city traffic, such as LA to San Francisco, NY to D.C., NY to Boston. Let’s take a look at this fifth mode of transportation, in the video below:

Some of the positive features of Hyperloop:

  • speed: four times as fast as California’s proposed train
  • lower cost: at one tenth the cost of CA’s proposed train and lower cost than a plane ride
  • safety:  safe distance between the pods would be about 5 miles, fitting 70 pods between LA and San Francisco, leaving every 30 seconds…as getting a ride on Space Mountain at Disneyland
  • comfort: less lateral acceleration than a subway ride, without turbulence or sudden movements of an airplane, therefore supersmooth
  • more convenient
  • immune to weather
  • sustainably self-powering (solar powered)
  • resistant to earthquake
  • not disruptive to those along the route

Please refer to Elon Musk’s Blog on Hyperloop.

But is Musk revealing his dream too soon?  Apparently Elon Musk is too busy building Tesla and SpaceX to be able to get to Hyperloop. So, the design of Hyperloop will become available to the world,  Open Source! The model will open up universal access, offering the opportunity for world collaboration and redistribution of the design and improvements to the design.

I cannot wait to see the realization of this design, compositing the shotgun-air hockey table-concorde into this fifth mode of transportation. The future is full of realizations of the impossible! Here We Come!

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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