PayPal founder Elon Musk is getting sick of waiting around for someone to build a bullet train. So he’s come up with an idea he calls the Hyperloop, a sort of mega-fast Futurama people-tube situation that would get passengers from L.A. to San Francisco in 30 minutes.
The Hyperloop would move people at speeds up to 900 miles per hour, well in excess of the fastest maglev train speed ever recorded (361 mph). So on the one hand, it seems pretty implausible. On the other hand, Elon Musk is pretty implausible — he’s a billionaire entrepreneur rocket scientist genius who was reportedly the model for Robert Downey Jr.’s version of Tony Stark. So probably if anyone can pull it off, he can.
Musk says his plan for the Hyperloop would cost a fraction of the expense of California’s planned bullet train — $6 billion, as opposed to $60 billion. He’s not spilling any details about exactly how the technology would work, but says that his goal was to create “something that never crashes, that’s at least twice as fast as a plane, that’s solar powered and that leaves right when you arrive, so there is no waiting for a specific departure time.” Which, uh, yeah, that sounds pretty good.
Next step? Musk wants to patent his design, find someone with the resources to build it, and then “talk to the governor and president about it.” And then build an invincible iron suit and fly off to fight crime.