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  1. #1
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    Introducing the Hyperloop

    MIT wins SpaceX?s Hyperloop competition, and Elon Musk made a cameo | The Verge

    Musk first unveiled plans for "a fifth mode of transportation" in August 2013 in a white paper published on the SpaceX website. Under the plans, the Hyperloop would transport passengers in aluminum pods traveling as fast as 760 mph, mostly following the route of California's I-5. The estimated cost would be $6 billion for the passenger-only model, or $7.5 billion for a larger model capable of transporting freight.
    This is one more pet project by Elon Musk. Pods travelling at ultrasonic speed in steel tubes that are evacuated to near vacuum. He first thought it up while stuck for an hour in LA traffic on the way to a meeting. He mentioned his idea to the people he met and thought, nothing would come of it. However he underestimated the reaction to anything outrageous he say. People kept asking about it until he made some investigation and with SpaceX engineers concluded it is actually a viable new transport mode. Being too busy with the three companies he is already running he published his findings and made it public domain for anyone to use it. There are now two companies on the way to realize transportation projects.

    Elon Musk is not involved in those. However he started a student competition to design transport pods that could travel in those tubes. Many universities in the US and some abroad participated. Last weekend the winning designs were announced. A number of subscale pods will be built by the designing universities and do competetive test runs in a track built by SpaceX.

    The winning design is by MIT. Second is the university of Delft. The TU München and the university of Cairo among others are also invited to build the pod they designed and enter the competition.

    US secretary of transportation adressed the participants. He said when he heard about the concept for the first time he thought that it is impossible. Just the same as every idea Elon Musk has ever come up with, they are regarded impossible until they are done. However today he is sure that Hyperloop will be built.

    The university of Delft made a nice animation showing their design and how Hyperloop works in general.

    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  2. #2
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    'Hyperloop' sled speeds through U.S. desert via electromagnets



    A car-sized sled powered by electromagnets rocketed to more than 100 miles (160 kph) an hour through the Nevada desert on Wednesday in what the Los Angeles company developing the technology said was the first successful test of a futurist transit system called hyperloop.

    Hyperloop One is among several companies competing to bring to life a technical vision by Elon Musk, the founder of rocket maker SpaceX and electric car company Tesla Motors, who suggested sending pods holding passengers and cargo inside giant vacuum tubes between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    It's a matter of debate how soon – or whether – passengers and cargo will ride the system at velocities approaching 750 miles per hour (1,200 kph), but Hyperloop One already has raised $80 million from backers including clean technology venture capitalist Khosla Ventures; high-speed railway SNCF, the French National Rail Company; and GE Ventures.

    Brogan BamBrogan, a former SpaceX engineer who co-founded Hyperloop One, called the test a major milestone.

    "Technology development testing can be a tricky beast," he said to a crowd of 300. "You never know on a given day if things are going to work exactly like you want."

    The sled began on a train track and then was rocketed to 105 miles per hour by electromagnets as electricity was shot into copper coils. After a short ride, the sled ran into a sand trap, sending out silicon sprays. If all goes according to plan, sleds will levitate and carry pods in a test later this year. Gigantic tubes already are scattered around the Las Vegas area test site.

    Company Chief Executive Rob Lloyd on Wednesday forecast a hyperloop would transport cargo by 2019 and passengers by 2021.

    "We're practicing large, fast construction that includes robotic welding. Techniques that allow us to create a perfect production level," he said. "What people think takes years should take quarters."

    Musk created a stir by saying California could build a hyperloop from San Francisco to Los Angeles for around $6 billion, a 10th of the cost of the state's high-speed rail project.

    Skeptics say real-world challenges ranging from construction permits to making the new technology work mean the costs are likely to be far greater.

    "The hyperloop might be promising, but it's still unproven and just an idea. High-speed rail is a proven technology that's been in use around the world for decades," said Lisa Marie Alley, a spokeswoman with the California High Speed Rail Authority.

    A hyperloop, she said, will run into the same challenges of any other large infrastructure project, including funding, right of way, environmental permits, approvals and clearances. "None of it is easy," she said.

    Alon Levy, a mathematician who writes about mass transit for the blog Pedestrian Observations, said the cost estimates from hyperloop backers do not fully take into account difficulties such as engineering turns at jet speed or even digging tunnels.

    "I do think Hyperloop can be built. But making it work requires much more money than the builders think, and much more than conventional high-speed rail," he said.

    (Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Peter Henderson and Leslie Adler)

    'Hyperloop' sled speeds through U.S. desert via electromagnets | Reuters

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Mann
    But making it work requires much more money than the builders think, and much more than conventional high-speed rail," he said.
    Initially, but later costs will come down...

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