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Top 5 Facts about the Hyperloop

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Max Lett First Elon Musk gave us a fast and easy way to trade currency online. Then he gave us electric cars that people actually want to drive. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and join us as we count down the top 5 Facts about Hyperloop, the conceptual transportation method that the mainstream took notice of when Elon Musk published conceptual designs in 2013. Special thanks to our user christo for submitting the idea on our Interactice Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Written by Max Lett

Top 5 Facts About Hyperloop


First Elon Musk gave us a fast and easy way to trade currency online. Then he gave us electric cars that people actually want to drive. Now he’s working on a train system that is solar powered and travels at 1,200 km per hour. What do you do with your spare time?
Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. Today, we’re breaking down the 5 most interesting things about about hyperloop, the conceptual transportation method that the mainstream took notice of when Elon Musk published conceptual designs in 2013, and which other companies have started testing.

#5: Comparisons to Futurama and The Jetsons Are Inevitable


I has been described by some including Musk himself as a kind of roller coaster but with a completely horizontal track and no sweet loops. Which seems to me like a regular train. Ok, an elevated train propelled by electromagnets in a tube with very low air pressure, but still a train. In very simple terms, the hyperloop is basically a levitating train in a quasi-vacuum tube. The low air pressure in the tubes means there’s very little air friction in them, which is one of the main obstacles to high speed travel. Musk’s original concept had pods big enough for a few people to sit in, but others have since proposed designs that could fit cars inside. Preferably Teslas.

#4: Hyperloop Would Harness the Power of the Sun


Like most of what Musk does, the Hyperloop will be an eco-friendly alternative to those big gas guzzlers or short-haul air travel. The train’s tube can be topped with solar panels, making it energy self-sufficient. It might even produce excess energy. And doesn’t Tesla already have a crazy battery technology that they could use here? First electric cars and now trains that run on sunlight? It’s like this Musk guy isn’t even trying to destroy the earth.


#3: Its Engineering is Still Untested


While it sounds like the perfect intercity transport solution, hyperloop comes with its own set of little hitches and limitations. For instance, low pressure tube systems like this would in theory either be very easy to depressurize, or subject passengers to crushing g-force at every bend. Musk’s designs account for these problems, but only in theory.
Even though it was Musk & co that first put forward this idea, other companies have sprung up to try to make this a reality. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, aka HTT, is planning a pilot project in California, and a test track is under construction in Nevada. These smaller scale hyperloops will allow engineers to test systems and refine designs.
Look, if we were afraid of every advance in transportation technology, we wouldn’t have the thriving blimp industry we have today.

#2: It Could Travel Close to the Speed of Sound


If you’re some kind of chump and still using old timey modes of transportation like cars and planes, the trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which is the corridor that Musk originally proposed this project for, can be pretty long. By car on a good day it could take you 8 hours and by plane at least 1. But with Elon’s new fangled super train, you’d cruise along at 760 mph, making the trip would take you only half an hour. With all those hours you’re saving you could do so many useful things like beat that level of Candy Crush or, if you’re Elon Musk, invent some time machine.



#1: It May or May Not Be Economically Viable


Listen, maybe you’ve been saving up for a new TV or a trip into space. But wouldn’t you rather put your spare billions to better use? Musk says for somewhere between 6 and 10 billion dollars he can build that LA-San Fran hyperloop of his, which is a high speed rail project would be. And compared to most wars, that’s just pennies. Once it’s built, Musk says, ticket prices would be cheaper than airfare– maybe even as low as $20 a ticket. You’ll be saving money which you can spend on whatever new invention Musk comes up with next– probably some teleporter or something. Some experts are sceptical that any new transportation method could be as cheap to develop as that. HTT have kept costs down by relying heavily on crowdsourcing for their design, engineering, and architecture needs.

So, what do you think? Will we ever see this thing get built? How much would you pay to travel in a tube at the speed of sound? For more super train top 10s and barely house trained top 5s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.


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