For those not yet in the loop, yesterday plans for the futuristic yet feasible Hyperloop were released by Elon Musk, the famed brain behind Paypal, Tesla Motors Inc, and rocket-builders SpaceX. Musk himself has little intention of following through with the project, and instead is opening up the proposal for others to tackle, as he’s got his hands full with SpaceX, a commercial space-travel endeavor. Regardless, the Hyperloop concept has generated an incredible buzz, and will likely be pursued due to the following reasons:
It’s Hyper Fast:
Hyperloop is a new “fifth mode [of transport] after planes, trains, cars and boats” that would be capable of transporting passengers between LA and San Francisco in only 30 minutes — half the time as a plane — at a rate of 840 passengers per hour.
The system would work similarly to those pneumatic tubes that transport capsules, like those used in mailrooms. Of course the solution is a little more high-tech, and involves a fan being placed on the nose of the vehicle, so that the capsules actually move on air.
It’s Hyper Cheap:
The proposed plans would only cost US$7.5 billion at most — a meager amount compared to the projected US$70-$100 billion California high-speed rail in the works.
It’s Hyper Efficient:
The entire system can be powered by solar energy, and the solar energy “could also be stored in the form of compressed air that then runs an electric fan in reverse to generate energy.”
It’s Hyper Practical
Musk admits the Hyperloop would be ideal for distances under 1,400km. Beyond that distance, he proposes that a supersonic jet would be a more efficient mode of transport. Luckily for Canadians, our two biggest cities Toronto and Montreal are within that distance, being roughly 504km apart. Likewise, Toronto and NYC are approximately 552km apart.
An incredibly short version of Before Sunrise in which the passengers can’t get up and meet each other, carry on with their lives.
To transport commuters from Downtown and Scarborough in, like, 30 seconds.
Jeremy Schipper is an intern who frequently commutes between Toronto and Montreal at Toronto Standard. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeromeoschipps.