Inventor, founder of PayPal, SpaceX and Tesler Motors is up to something. If you don’t know who Elon is but have seen Iron Man, think Tony Stark. He’s an inventor who actually gets stuff off the ground, literally. He’s a geek who goes beyond the computer and actually makes real stuff – like cars and spaceships and possibly soon, an intercity mode of transport, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
In a tweet (from his personal @elonmusk account) a few days ago, he announced
“Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.”
He went on to say the the Hyperloop would be “a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table,” and would be able to transport people the 380 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco in half an hour. This is quite breathtaking – the average on that sort of distance to time combo is nearly 700 mph. This doesn’t account for acceleration and deceleration time.
Many journalists have written about how Star Trek Tech is becoming real life tech, but just to recap – we’ve got communicators, we’ve sort of got tricorders (smart phones), we’ve sort of got replicators (3D Printers), touch screens, reading tablets and way more – but this latest technology almost falls into the illusive ‘hyperdrive’ or even teleporter realms of practical gain for human kind.
One of the other interesting things he’s doing with this (he later announced) is that he’s releasing the design ‘open source’, meaning anyone (who had the resorces to do so) could go and build a Hyperloop. If it does work, and it’s economically viable, they may start popping up fairly quickly. Imagine getting from Harrogate to London in less time than it currently takes to get to Leeds.
No one knows exactly what he’s planning – some say he’s not 100% sure himself yet, but his past form would indicate that it’ll be something very ‘green’, as a lot of his other projects have used energy efficiency and alternative energy at the heart of their very being.
One thing is for sure, I’ll be looking out for further news, in the geekly weeklys, around the middle of August.