Last year, Elon Musk pitched a fantastical idea for a new national transportation system in the US. Called Hyperloop, it involved capsuled traincars propelled at high speed through low pressure underground tubes. Now, a group of engineers are working for free to make the project a reality.
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), aided by a group of UCLA students, has made great strides with the idea, to the point that engineers from companies such as Boeing, Airbus, and Musk’s own company SpaceX, have been working on the project for free. The team have developed potential cross-state Hyperloop routes, keeping the lines as straight as they can to prevent motion sickness, and preliminary designs for the stations and capsules.
HTT and the students think they have figured out how to build the vacuum tubes, but are yet to determine how to implement the friction-free propulsion through those tubes. They claim that, with a $6-10 billion investment, Hyperloop “can be built within a decade.”