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Hyperloop: Elon Musk's Idea of High-Speed Futuristic Transport via Tubes Soon to Be a Reality?

Sep 26, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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Besides traveling to space, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, has also toyed with the idea of high-tech, affordable travel in the future through a different mode of transportation that's not a plane or a train. Now, several companies are intent on making Musk's Hyperloop idea a reality.

According to Phys Org, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is attempting to build the prototye tagged "Hyperloop," a new mode of transport that could not be categorized to those available in the market today. The idea is for passengers to be seated in pods and then transported to long distances through a tube above the ground.

In 2013, Musk came up with the Hyperloop idea by outlining on paper a so-called "fifth mode of transport" which would connect Los Angeles and San Francisco by a tube, reducing the six-hour drive between the two cities by only 30 minutes.

Musk offered this transport idea for free and encouraged companies to develop it. Now, two companies have taken on the challenge: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies and Hyperloop One.

"We are not the train, we are not the car, we are not the plane," says Bibop Gresta, chairman of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Meanwhile, Rob Lloyd, chief executive of Hyperloop One, says that this is a "new mode of transportation."

Both companies presented their vision at the recently held European rail transport fair, Innotrans, held in Berlin. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies claims that their Hyperloop vehicle would travel at a speed of 1220 kilometers per hour, Sky Mag reports.

The idea behind Hyperloop sounds like science fiction stuff. Passengers will aboard a capsule with virtual windows, which will be propelled down a tube. The said capsule will also be floating via magnetic levitation.

To date, Hyperloop One has already carried out preliminary tests on their prototype's propulsion system and aims for a release between 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies says they could make Hyperloop a reality by 2019.

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