For anyone who thought the Tesla Model S was quick, company chief Elon Musk is thinking of a transportation alternative that could make his signature EV feel downright sloth-like. It's called the "Hyperloop."
Musk talked about this idea with PandoDaily's Sarah Lacy a year ago, but now Yahoo! is reporting more details: it involves six-person "capsules" being shot through a nearly friction-less tube via magnetic levitation. Colorado-based ET3 is trying to develop what it calls "Evacuated Tube Transport" that would reach mind-blowing speeds. How fast? ET3 is throwing out some pretty outrageous numbers, envisioning a system in which the capsules could reach 4,000 (!) miles per hour. That means that instead of the $70 million high-speed rail project that will ferry people between San Francisco and Los Angeles in about three hours, Hyperloop travelers could do the trip in well less than the time it takes to watch a sitcom. New York to LA? Less than an hour.
ET3 says it's planning a short, three-mile test run by the end of the year. Of course, at 4,000 miles per hour, those three miles would be covered in, oh, about four seconds. Any disbelieving folks can check out ET3's website here and a short, animated video below. And skeptics should remember that Musk is already sending things into space, so maybe this Hyperloop isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.