In an appearance on CNBC this morning, Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said a “Hyperloop” — a futuristic new kind of mass transit — could be built for just 10% of the cost of the high-speed rail project currently underway in California.
Musk did not elaborate on an earlier description of the Hyperloop as a “cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table,” but said it would be far faster and less expensive per mile than California’s $69 billion, 520-mile project.
Musk said that once it’s in place, that railway, connecting San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, will be the “slowest bullet train in the world.”
We found plans for a system that sounds a lot like the Hyperloop in a 1972 paper by the Rand Corporation, proposing shooting electromagnetically levitated and propelled cars across the country in a vacuum sealed tunnel.
Musk said he would not elaborate on his conception of the Hyperloop until after June 20, when another announcement regarding Tesla is planned.
He did say the system would “be a really great way to travel” between the right pairs of nearby cities, like LA and San Francisco, or New York and Boston.
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