Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants someone to help him invent a “fifth” mode of transportation — outside of the traditional automobiles, planes, trains and boats — that would send you from San Francisco to Los Angeles in a half hour.
Speaking with Sarah Lacy at a PandoDaily, he basically said it was like a “Jetsons tunnel that whisks you away.”
Right now it’s just an idea. But Musk is looking at patenting the idea and open sourcing it to the most ambitious entrepreneur that wants to work on it.
Here’s the transcript from the fireside chat:
Elon Musk: The fourth one, I’m considering just open-sourcing. Describing the idea, saying this is what would be done, if someone wants to do it then they could do it. Maybe I should patent it and open-source the patent to anyone who can make a credible case that they can do it. It would be for a fifth mode of transport. We have planes, trains, automobiles and boats. What if there was a fifth mode. I have a name for it, called the Hyperloop.
Sarah Lacy: It’s something like a Jetsons tunnel, you just get in and it whisks you away?
Elon Musk: Yes. This is prompted by the California train thing, it has the dubious distinction of being the slowest train and the most expensive per mile. What is the theoretically fastest way you could get from LA to San Francisco. This system I have in mind, how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes 3 or 4 times faster than the bullet train… it goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown LA to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it, you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There’s a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries. Yes, this is possible, absolutely.