Current Issue
This Month's Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Elon Musk Wants to Zip You From L.A. to San Francisco in 30 Minutes

The SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder says he will unveil an alpha design next month for the Hyperloop, a high-speed tunnel system that can shuttle passengers from L.A. to San Francisco in minutes.

  • <p>Though the Hyperloop would travel twice as fast as the high-speed bullet trains of Japan, it's still just a concept. In June, the Central Japan Railway Co. carried out its first successful tests for the next generation of bullet trains, which are designed to run at 311 mph.</p>

<p>[Image: Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/23090753%40N06/6206975319/in/photolist-asunvR-cnWzoC-bRw2nV-9HUTSY-dexLPb-dexNQg-9yRaS1-dexDGy-cnWyXE-9gjE1r-anfeci-7DYnkb-dEn3oe" target="_blank">matt-lucht</a>]</p>
  • 01 /03
    | Elon Musk discusses the Hyperloop at D11

    "It's a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table," the SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder said of his concept for a high-speed tunnel system capable of shuttling passengers from L.A. to San Francisco in minutes.

  • 02 /03
    | Evacuated Tube Transport by ET3

    The Colorado-based ET3 is also designing a Hyperloop-esque high-speed tube system it expects to test run by the end of 2013.

  • 03 /03
    | Bullet Trains Are Also Getting Faster

    Though the Hyperloop would travel twice as fast as the high-speed bullet trains of Japan, it's still just a concept. In June, the Central Japan Railway Co. carried out its first successful tests for the next generation of bullet trains, which are designed to run at 311 mph.

    [Image: Flickr user matt-lucht]

It takes roughly five-and-a-half hours to drive the 400 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But in the future, the same trip could take around 30 minutes.

That's the promise of the Hyperloop, the futuristic transportation system SpaceX and Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk says he will unveil a design for on August 12.

What is the Hyperloop, exactly? Musk has described his concept for a high-speed, tunnel-based tube system as "a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table," but hasn't publicly shared many other details since he first mentioned it a year ago. He has previously said the ideal system would be weather-proof, crash-proof, solar-powered, and at least twice as fast as a plane.

ET3, a Colorado-based company, is currently developing a similar technology for a high-speed tunnel system. Yahoo reports ET3 is planning a test run of three miles of prototype tubes by the end of 2013.

[Image: Flickr user OnInnovation]