Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Elon Musk Is Building His Own Hyperloop

August 8, 2017

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO famously told the world about his super-fast, inter-city, train-in-a-tube concept, Hyperloop—then said that other people should build it. Fair enough: he is a busy guy. But he’s now decided to build the thing himself. The news was hinted at when Musk announced a "verbal government approval" for an underground Hyperloop from New York City to Washington D.C.—and Bloomberg report last week added to the buzz—but it was only confirmed for the first time today by Wired.

Construction of the Hyperloop will be part of Musk's side project, the Boring Company. Its premise is that a "large network of tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew." There are some problems with the idea, but no matter: the company has already been digging its own tunnels in Los Angeles.

Speaking to Wired, a spokesperson from the Boring Company has explained that the firm plans to build different types of transportation systems in those tunnels. Some will be "standard pressurized tunnels with electric skates going 125+ mph," while others will "use pressurized pods in a depressurized tunnel to allow speeds up to approximately 600+ mph (aka Hyperloop)."

The news comes at a time when Hyperloop is starting to look a little less like a crushing disappointment and more like a technology that could, one day at least, work. Last week, Hyperloop One managed to fire its first pod through a low-pressure tube on mag-lev, reaching 192 mph in five seconds. Still, Musk’s vision of a Hyperloop running in underground tunnels is perhaps an even more ambitious goal than firing them through overground tubes, certainly from a city planning perspective.

Still, this is the man that was faced with incredulity when he vowed to recycle rocket boosters, then went ahead and made the whole thing look like child’s play. So his decision to build an underground Hyperloop will certainly buoy the nascent industry surrounding the peculiar form of transport, as many people will assume he can make a go of it. Whether he can or not? Keep your eyes on those tunnels.

 

Keep Reading

Most Popular

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Every year, we look for promising technologies poised to have a real impact on the world. Here are the advances that we think matter most right now.

Scientists are finding signals of long covid in blood. They could lead to new treatments.

Faults in a certain part of the immune system might be at the root of some long covid cases, new research suggests.

AI for everything: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2024

Generative AI tools like ChatGPT reached mass adoption in record time, and reset the course of an entire industry.

What’s next for AI in 2024

Our writers look at the four hot trends to watch out for this year

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.