Hyperloop: Simply Science Fiction

Hyperloop

Who wants to be shot through a tube at 760 mph?

This week, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk (of Tesla and PayPal fame) unvieled his concept for futuristic transport: the Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop will take you from San Francisco to LA in 30 mins. You’ll travel through a tube on a cushion of air. It’s faster than a plane, cheaper than a train and solar-powered!

All that sounds cool, but here’s what the science fiction writer in me loves about the Hyperloop 1) Pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the box 2) The chance that we might actually see this thing (or ride on it) in the next decade and 2) it’s cool name!! I wish I’d thought of it for something in one of my stories!!

Musk has already proven he can come up with awe-inspiring ideas and make them happen. It makes me so excited to think of all the other ideas we can come up with to make travel cheaper, faster, more efficient and better for the environment.

So, do you think we’ll see Hyperloops all around the world one day? Anyone keen to take a ride on one?

Image by Taefit

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Anna Hackett loves action movies, sci-fi shows, short stories, writing her own romantic adventures, her wonderful husband and her little man. You can find her at all the usual places: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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5 comments

  1. I would love to ride on one of these. Especially if they make a Hyperloop line that goes from coast to coast. For instance, at 297 air miles between San Francisco and Los Angeles, 30 minutes travel would mean you’re going at about 9.9 miles a minute. That’s more than 9 times the amount traveled at 60 miles per hour (which nets you only 1 mile a minute). Going from LA to NYC, you’re looking at 2462 miles and at 9.9 miles a minute, that works out to be 248.68 minutes or 4.14 hours. Simply amazing! Of course this assumes a straight line of travel non-stop, with no transfers or layovers. It’s possible to breakfast in NYC and have lunch in Beverly Hills and be back in NYC for dinner and a show. And how long would it be before the Hypertube lines cross the Atlantic and the Pacific? Flying to Australia from the East Coast of the US is a 22 hour flight. With the Hypertube, it might go down by half. (Maybe more. Math isn’t my strong suit.) Also, how would the existance of the Hypertube affect shipping industries? Perhaps Hypertube depots will evenly dot our landscape coast to coast. Though it would still be more convenient to deliver goods from the depots to the final destination on trucks and smaller vehicles, the distances traveled would be shorter. As such I can dsee rail and air freight taking a hard hit, and long-haul trucking would also see a decline.

    Of course, all of this supposes that the Hypertube would be a cost effective competitor against current methods of moving freight and passengers. If it cannot sustain itself outside high-density urban areas, I don’t see it taking over those other industries. Only time will tell … but darned if we aren’t living in exciting times!

  2. Remember when I said math wasn’t my best subject? I could have saved myself some math work if I’d remembered the “760 miles an hour” quote at the beginning of the post. Bleh! Either way, the figures are impressive!

    1. Hi Taimdala – you made lots of good points — and the math wasn’t too bad (-: They are talking about frieght applications and cars could drive on as well. But Musk isn’t proposing it as a replacement for planes. It would just be between cities that are closer together. Shame because even a 4hr flight is far longer once you add “airport time” at each end.

      But never say never, some smart cookie might come along improve the idea. Who knows, we might breakfast in NYC, lunch in LA and dinner back in NYC one day.

      1. I caught a few more articles online about the hyperloop and the fact that they are opening the design process to all comers is an interesting aspect of the project.

        A few things caught my eye:

        1) The hyperloop will be an above ground tube transport
        2) Regulation of interior environment and switching and so forth will be done electronically (read: by computer)
        3) Head space/gap between passenger capsules can be varied and controlled by computer

        Which leads me to envision:

        1) Transit disasters with significant collateral damage to surrounding property
        2) Hackers exploiting the control systems to cause #1

        Both of which would make for an interesting plot for an action movie or sf novel. As with any new transportation technology–from horseless carriages to cable cars to airplanes–people will be skeptical as to its safety and efficacy. Just blame my alarmist/disaster list to a lifetime watching movies and tv, the plots of which are highly improbable and exaggerated for effect. I think it’s a really cool idea and would love to ride on one myself.

  3. I read something about China will no doubt build one now — for twice the cost and with no safety systems! I think you are spot on — some excellent story ideas in there!! I’ll keep an eye out for Disaster on the Hyperloop (-:

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