Tesla founder Elon Musk’s new project, a high-speed tube transportation system called the “Hyperloop” that would take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in roughly 30 minutes, could become a reality within 10 years, according to Hyperloop CEO Dirk Ahlborn.
“It could be very easily put together,” Ahlborn told CBS Los Angeles’ KCAL 9. “It’s more about thinking, figuring out how to make it a good business.”
According to CBS News, plans to put the system together are well underway, with about 25 UCLA graduate architecture students working on the project at a facility in Playa Vista.
“They look at this like a blank sheet of paper on which they can realize their fantasies,” UCLA professor Craig Hodgetts told local CBS News affiliate KCAL9.
A traditional trip between Los Angeles and San Francisco takes roughly six hours, depending on the speed of the car. However, by utilizing a unique system involving a hovering capsule in a high-pressurized tube, Hyperloop vows to reduce that trip time drastically, by bumping up the speed of the capsules to 760 miles per hour.
In an August 2013 blog post on teslamotors.com, Musk explained how the system would work.
“The total one-way trip time is 35 minutes from county line to county line,” Musk wrote. “The capsules leave on average every 2 minutes from each terminal carrying 28 people each (as often as every 30 seconds during rush hour and less frequently at night.) This gives a total of 7.4 million people per tube that can be transported each year on Hyperloop. The total cost of Hyperloop is under $6 billion USD for two one-way tubes and 40 capsules.”
Musk said that a ticket on his new Hyperloop system would cost travelers just $20 per ticket each way.
Musk also criticized California’s high-speed rail project in the paper, calling the roughly $68 billion project “one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world.”
“If we are to make a massive investment in a new transportation system, then the return by rights should be equally massive,” Musk said.
Hyperloop CEO Dirk Ahlborn told KCAL-9 that with the right amount of funding, and ten years’ time, Hyperloop could be ready for use.