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Elon Musk Unveils ‘Hyperloop’ Transport Concept

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Indeed, the Hyperloop was inspired by that rail system, which has a cost too high and speed too low to justify the project, Musk said.

In a written statement, California High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard suggested that Musk was oversimplifying the challenges.

“If and when Mr. Musk pursues his Hyperloop technology, we’ll be happy to share our experience about what it really takes to build a project in California, across seismic zones, minimizing impacts on farms, businesses and communities and protecting sensitive environmental areas and species,” Richard said.

Like the bullet train, the Hyperloop didn’t take long to attract skepticism.

Musk had framed his concept as a fifth way – an alternative to cars, planes, trains and boats. Citing barriers such as cost and the mountains that rim the Central Valley, one transportation expert called Musk’s idea novel, but not a breakthrough.

“I don’t think it will provide the alternative that he’s looking for,” said James E. Moore II, director of the transportation engineering program at the University of Southern California.

The unveiling lived up to the hype part of its name.

Musk has been dropping hints about his system for more than a year during public events, mentioning that it could never crash and would be immune to weather.

Coming from almost anyone else, the hyperbole would be hard to take seriously. But Musk has a track record of success. He co-founded online payment service PayPal, electric luxury carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. and the rocket-building company SpaceX.

The word Hyperloop – which had been mentioned a handful of times in recent weeks on Twitter – was being tweeted about 20 times every minute. Hyperloop was the top “hot search” on Google, with more than 200,000 searches.

Musk has said he is too focused on other projects to consider actually building the Hyperloop, and instead is publishing an open-source design that anyone can use or modify.

That’s still the case, he said, but added that if no one else steps forward he might build a working prototype. That would take three or four years, he said.

As with Tesla and SpaceX, Musk mused, there are bound to be unforeseen technical obstacles.

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Posted by FanningCommunications on Sep 3rd, 2013 and filed under Techline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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