Straight out of a Jules Verne novel, Hyperloop Technology is a mass transit system where passengers travel in a pressurized capsule. The capsule is supported by a thin cushion of air and travels through tubes. The power source will ideally be solar or magnetic attraction. Eventually, these capsules will be able to reach speeds of 750 mph.
That means that a traveler could go from Los Angeles to Kansas City—a 1,600-mile trip—in just 2 hours. This idea comes from the mind of Elon Musk and many scientists agree with his thinking.
Does the Physics Work?
R. John Hansman Jr., aeronautics and astronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology commented saying, “The physics of it works. The real question is, can you get it to a point where it will be cost-competitive with other means of transportation? That’s a big unknown.”
He also reminded investors that, just like massive undertakings such as the moon expeditions, the scale and cost will be significant challenges. There are considerable engineering hurdles to climb over as well.
In spite of all this, Musk has been able to raise a total of $223 million from investors in just the last two years. His company is called “The Boring Company” and it has been praised by industry leaders as “a great example of the disruptive playbook we look for.” His company will build underground tunnels for a number of hyperloop transportation projects.
Traveling Underground at High Speeds
Elon Musk and The Boring Co., are set to take over this futuristic transportation space with the goal of delivering a fully functioning transportation system by the year 2020. At the moment, Musk is said to be searching for areas where his company can build longer test tracks. The most obvious place will be Nevada where he is working on his Gigafactory project.
The Gigafactory is located outside Sparks, Nevada and Musk broke ground on this project in 2014. Since the success of his Tesla automobile, Musk has been on a mission to supply the world with sustainable energy. That means he has a great need for ion batteries. In fact, in order to supply his projected battery demand for the Tesla automobile alone, it has been calculated that he will need all the ion batteries in the world.
To meet that need, he has been hard at work building the Gigafactory in stages. It is currently producing Model 3 electric motors and battery packs, in addition to Tesla’s energy storage products, Powerpack and Powerwall.
As a side note, the presence of Musk’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada has caused a number of other Hyperloop and transportation start-ups to move into the area. The area’s economy and number of new jobs are growing exponentially. Other tech giants are moving into the field of Hyperloop technology to take advantage of all the new opportunities arising.
The Chinese Looking to Score Big
One of these is a new electric car startup funded by a Chinese billionaire. The new company is called Faraday Future, and they are searching for a headquarters in the U.S. They’re currently considering Nevada, Georgia, California and Louisiana for their first manufacturing plant. Though Faraday Future has actually not produced anything yet, they already have 400 employees and have been able to lure a few executives away from Tesla Motors.
The Chinese billionaire is reportedly planning to build electric cars very similar in design to the Tesla.