When you imagine futuristic transportation, chances are good you envision flying cars, teleportation devices and artificially intelligent aircraft, but if billionaire inventor Elon Musk has his way, making a trip from New York to Los Angeles could involve being shot through a plastic tube at 800-miles-per-hour.
The hyperloop transportation system takes pneumatic piping to an entirely new level, where human passengers blast through tunnels that are true marvels of engineering. Commuters could travel to major cities for work, their private residences nestled into the woods hundreds of miles away.
As you can imagine, constructing the infrastructure for something like this is a massive undertaking with a price range in the hundreds of billions of dollars. To get world renowned engineers and architects on board, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) offered the science field’s best equity shares, instead of literal pay, for 10 hours or more work per week.
Dozens of inventors, futurists, architects and designers are working on the first phase of the project, in the hopes of launching a full-size test track sometime in 2018.
Unsurprisingly, there is still plenty of research that needs to take place. The effects on the human body of being shot through a tube at ridiculously high speeds are still unknown, and the challenges of raising funds, much less creating sound, realistic blueprints for a massive infrastructure re-haul are massive.
It will be interesting to see how this project moves ahead over the next few months. This article goes further in-depth, covering cost estimates and other crucial planning factors.