Larry Page once led a Google project that would shoot bicyclists 56 km down a glass tube, from its headquarters to San Francisco

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  • Larry Page once led a project at Google called ‘Heliox,’ which aimed to create a Hyperloop-style plastic tube that would use a mixture of gases to propel bicyclists down a track, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • The tube was meant to be positioned hundreds of feet in the air, and would stretch 35 miles – from Google’s office in Mountain View to San Francisco.
  • The project never came to fruition, but it’s a good example of the sometimes far-fetched ideas that Page has been known to pursue at the company he cofounded.

While Elon Musk’s Boring Company digs underground tunnels for ultra-high-speed Hyperloop transport, Google cofounder Larry Page once had visions of using similar technology to propel bicyclists through the sky.

Bloomberg reports that Page, the cofounder of Google and the CEO of its parent company Alphabet, previously led a Google project, codenamed Heliox – an ambitious plan to build a plastic tube, suspended hundreds of feet in the air, that would use a mixture of helium and oxygen to propel cyclists at incredibly high speeds.

The project, which began in 2015, never came to fruition, but the team was working out of a former NASA hangar where they built a prototype, per the report. The tube was planned to be about the width of a standard subway car, and was envisioned to stretch from the Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View to San Francisco, a distance of some 35 miles. Riders would enter from the ground level at the Googleplex, and exit in San Francisco.

Although the project never became reality, it’s a good example of Page’s sometimes far-fetched ideas. He’s taken on a number of futuristic projects – both inside and outside of Alphabet – with varying degrees of success.

At Alphabet, Page has been involved with Google X, a secretive research lab where ideas like Google Glass and Project Loon came to life, as well as Footpath Labs, an urban infrastructure project. Outside of Alphabet, Page has funded projects like Kitty Hawk’s ‘flying cars.’

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read the full Bloomberg report here.

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