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Billionaire Elon Musk reveals plans for futuristic high-speed travel system called ‘Hyperloop’

Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk has revealed plans for a high-speed transportation system which could get passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in less than 30 minutes.

Musk, who founded both PayPal and Tesla Motors, had hinted at such plans in the past but finally unveiled his ideas yesterday. The futuristic system looks very train-like, with bullet-shaped pods carrying passengers at high speeds through elevated tubes across the US.

The plans detail Hyperloop’s first route, from Los Angeles to San Francisco following California’s famous I-5 route. Each capsule, built to carry a small number of passengers, can travel at up to 800mph which means that Hyperloop would become faster and more efficient than flying internally in the US.

The capsules are able to travel at these speeds constantly without causing either friction within the tubes in which they travel or a full vacuum. This will be quite some feat, but Musk believes it can be done by mounting compressor fans to the front and rear of each capsule and keeping the interiors at a high pressure.

Musk estimates that the first Hyperloop route will cost in the region of $6 billion to make, and that’s just for passengers. He also anticipates a version which can transport cars – kind of like a futuristic ferry, we guess – which he estimates to cost around $10 billion in development. With Musk himself being a multi-billionaire, this sort of money shouldn’t pose too much of a problem, but of course the US government will need to get on board.

And the timeframe for such an idea? Three to four years, provided the right project leader is assigned. Mr Musk believes he could do it within 1-2 years if the project was his sole priority though.

This sort of thing really does make us feel as though we’re heading towards a futuristic age. Hopefully it becomes a reality so we can take a ride.

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