Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Need to Get to LA Fast?

Try the hyperloop and get there in 35 minutes-at least that's the proposal of Elon Musk, creator and founder of Paypal and Tesla Motors.  According to Musk, his proposed system would cost $6 billion compared to the high speed rail now being taxpayer funded for a whopping $68.4 billion.  Best of all a round trip ticket would cost $20.

How does it work?  According to Visual News, "Musk and his team think that by pumping much of the air out of the tube and creating an atmosphere equivalent to that at 150,000 feet (45,720 meters) the drag within the system would be lowered to such a state that near supersonic speeds are attainable with little resistance. Wheels at this speed are no longer an option (due to stability and drag issues) so instead an ‘air bearing’ would be employed. These would be extremely strong metal plates on the bottom of the pod that blow air through their center; supporting the pod much like the puck on an air hockey table."



Passengers would travel in pods that hold 28 people (see figure 4).  The tube would be outfitted with solar panels in order to power the "electric motors much like those used on a modern roller coaster, and because the air-based drag within the tube would be so low, only 1% of the distance would require power. The solar panels would be mounted atop the systems tubes, providing continuous day and night operation."

Musk admits that  "Much research and testing needs to be done on the Hyperloop idea to see if it will really work, so he’s making the idea open source and calling for all the help he can get. Read more about the highly interesting project at spacex.com/hyperloop where you can find a fascinating 58 page PDF with tech details."

What would it feel like?  "A cross between a Concorde, a railgun, and an air hockey table." 

Who's going to create and build this system?  Current college students - that means YOU.  Speaking of careers, what's your major?

12 comments:

  1. I think the hyperloop would be perfect! It would be very efficient, and cost effective, compared to the high speed rail. LA is very common to travel to, especially from nor cal. All the time I hear my friends talking about how they go to LA for the weekend, but its about half a day of driving. Imagine getting there in 35 min. and only paying $20? That's way faster than an airplane, not to mention loads cheaper. Plus you won't have to deal with all that airport security. I hope they have enough funding to test the Hyperloop, I would love to be using it in the near future.

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  2. As a son of an engineer from United Airlines, I travel a whole lot. My family makes big trips around the world at least once every year. In between, we occasionally make local trips to SoCal or other nearby states. Especially since my brother recently moved to Los Angeles for Chapman University, this hyperloop system would definitely be beneficial for all of us. Being a son of an airport employee has its ups and downs. We get cheap flights, but only if they are available. If the flight is full, we can't get in. Then we have to wait until the next available flight, which could take hours. This hyperloop system would save a lot of time and would definitely be more convenient to visit my brother in college, or for him to come back home for the weekend. Although, I can imagine some errors in the beginning of its launch, since the technology behind it is pretty fresh. Hopefully they'll get through the bugs and the future will come sooner than we think.

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  3. This idea proposed seems too good to be true. Traveling that distance in a shorter amount of time than it takes for me to get from home to school is a concept straight out of a science fiction movie. I do support the idea, but it seems like this method of travel is even more dangerous than flying. I cant imagine anyone surviving a crash if something malfunctioned. At speeds like that, if something did go wrong the damage would most likely be immense.
    Although the proposed idea for transportation is very appealing, I feel that we are still a few years short from having that kind of technology so easily acceptable to the public.

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  4. This is an interesting concept considering the speed of these pods. Since I frequently travel to LA, this would be an amazing mode of transportation to have. The convenience of the Hyperloop will help thousand of people a day when they travel for leisure and for business. Imagine if people can have jobs in San Francisco when they live in the greater Los Angeles area.

    The only concern I have about the Hyperloop is passenger safety. Since the pods are encapsulated, what would be protocols to evacuate passengers?

    Overall, the Hyperloop system is going to pioneer transportation technology. Who knows what else Elon Musk has up his sleeve.

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  5. I think the idea of travelling to La in 35 minutes with 20$ is very attractive, but does it really work in the way the expected to be?. From physics point of view this idea is absolutely possible and will become true one day. I heard about this idea a few years ago when Japanese government had an issue with the population and transportation during the rush hours. People in japan had to wait for 4 hours to get into subway in some part of japan, so they came up with an amazing idea. The idea was called magnetic subway. It is very simple but there is huge engineering behind it. They lifted up the subway by magnetic field and used the magnetic field to push the train forward. They had so many issues with that project, so they had to shut down because the technology was too new and they couldn’t handle and they started researching to start over the project hopefully in 2016. The hyperloop is a very same idea, but it is a very new piece of technology which needs a lot of research. Like magnetic subway in japan it might be too early to think about these ideas.

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  6. I mean yes I think this is a great idea. It seems like it would turn a week going to Los Angelas faster than spending the day in San Francisco. The fact that it will only cost 20 dollars seems a little bizarre when I think they can be making way more money off an idea like this. However, flights from San Francisco to Los Angelas will almost be gone since they sometime range from 100 to 200 round trip. I would have my taxes go to funding something like this. However, whenever the Giants are playing the Dodgers, the city will be over run with obnoxious Los Angelans.

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  7. I think that this article is interesting because this system enables the hyperloop to move faster. It is not tested; however, when it is done, it is helpful for people to travel faster. It is fascinating idea. On the other hand, it is important to keep safety and it is difficult to carry out. speeking of careers, my major is business and I would like to be involved in management. For this system, engineers are necessary but I think that I can be engage with it in financial area.

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  8. Well, my major is Liberal Studies, so I would be NO WHERE near this type of thing, luckily.
    But I think this is a great idea! many people make that trip for family and for Disney land. Actually, Disney Land would benefit greatly so they should probably help fund it. This would save a lot of money and reduce pollution. It would also create new jobs.
    The only thing I would be concerned with would be safety. When they are moving that fast, a crash would be very dangerous. If they spend a lot of time testing and making sure everything is safe, this would be helpful to everyone.

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  9. This seems like a great ideas. Making it to L.A in 35 mins would be better then traveling in a car for 6+ hours, or paying for a plane ticket to get there in 1 hour. But how safe could this thing be? I think this is going to take many years of research to see if its even a possibility it seems to good to be true. Just imagine at the speed this hyperloop would have to be going at to make it from here to L.A in 35. Not even bart gets you to the city that fast. There would be so many questions that would have to be thought of before starting to build this such as where would it stop? How long will it take? Are there risks? It would be great if this could be a reality but it could take a while before we see any movement with this hyperloop.

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  10. Well speaking from someone that lives in the bay area and wants to go to college, and potentially live in, LA, I think this is a great idea. Not only for the convenience, but for the fact that it will create hundreds to thousands of jobs for newly graduated college students with degrees like, engineering, architecture, physics and so on. It will be a tax, but no more than BART really. I also read that it would take about an hour and not be completed until about 2026. This might have changed, however.

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  11. The hydra loop is an interesting idea, but the cost seems a bit much. The early development stages are crucial to make it as safe as possible; with that being said convincing the public it's safe and reliable seams implausible. It's an idea I can see becoming a reality in the next century, but not anytime soon. I like that it can sustain enough power to travel all day long. Renewable energy is going to catch a lot of peoples attention in the later years.

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